Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The United Nations Principles of Older Persons

The United Nations Principles of Older Persons

The United Nations Principles of Older Persons was adopted by the UN General Assembly (resolution 46/91) on 16 December 1991. Governments were encouraged to incorporate them into their national programmes whenever possible. Some highlights of the Principles are:


Older persons should:

* have access to adequate food, water, shelter, clothing and health care through the provision of income, family and community support and self-help;

* have the opportunity to work or to have access to other income-generating opportunities;

* be able to participate in determining when and at what pace withdrawal from the labour force takes place;

* have access to appropriate educational and training programmes;

* be able to live in environments that are safe and adaptable to personal preferences and changing capacities;

* be able to reside at home for as long as possible.


Older persons should:

* remain integrated in society, participate actively in the formulation and implementation of policies that directly affect their well-being, and share their knowledge and skills with younger generations;

* be able to seek and develop opportunities for service to the community and to serve as

volunteers in positions appropriate to their interests and capabilities;

* be able to form movements or associations of older persons.


Older persons should:

* benefit from daily and community care and protection in accordance with each society's

system of cultural values;

* have access to health care to help them to maintain or regain the optimum level of physical, mental and emotional well-being and to prevent or delay the onset of illness;

* have access to social and legal services to enhance their autonomy, protection and care;

* be able to utilize appropriate levels of institutional care providing protection, rehabilitation and social and mental stimulation in a humane and secure environment;

* be able to enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms when residing in any shelter, care or treatment facility, including full respect for their dignity, beliefs, needs and privacy and for the right to make decisions about their health care and the quality of their lives.


Older persons should:

* be able to pursue opportunities for the full development of their potential;

* have access to the educational, cultural, spiritual and recreational resources of society.


Older persons should:

* be able to live in dignity and security and be free of exploitation and physical or mental abuse;

* be treated fairly regardless of age, gender, racial or ethnic background, disability or other status, and be valued independently of their economic contribution.

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