Ken Bluestone is Head of Policy and Influencing for Age International and works in the UK to improve the wellbeing of older people in lower and middle-income countries. He has been a passionate advocate for the rights of older people for the past 12 years and was previously Chair of GAROP. Most recently, he has co-authored “If not now, when?”, a report identifying the limitations of humanitarian responses to addressing the rights of older people. Ken is on the Board of Directors of CommonAge, a Commonwealth Accredited Association.
The human rights of older persons and the campaign for a UN convention – Part I
Elisha Sibale is Executive Director of the Good Samaritan Social Service Trust (GSSST) in Tanzania. GSSST’s primary mission is to provide quality health care services to those in need in Tanzania, and advocate for the right to health and equality at all levels. He is an expert in social and economic development projects and has worked in leadership positions with human service organisations for the past 30 years. Elisha is an influential activist and campaigner on the rights of older people in Tanzania, and has attended and given interventions at the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing in New York.
Ken Bluestone, Age International and former Chair of the Global Alliance
Elisha Sibale, the Good Samaritan Social Service Trust, Tanzania
Ferdoushi Begum, Resource Integration Centre, Bangladesh
This workshop is proposed by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP), a global network of 400 members united in our work to strengthen the rights of older persons. We support and coordinate civil society engagement in advocacy and campaigning around a UN convention on the rights of older persons.
Under the overarching theme of ‘The human rights of older persons and the campaign for a UN convention’, the main objectives of this workshop are:
- To inspire and motivate participants to engage in campaigning for a UN convention on the rights of older persons and in the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG) process
- To provide tools and experiences from different countries and regions to guide effective advocacy and campaigning for a UN convention on the rights of older persons
The workshop will begin with a short explanation of the work currently taking place around a UN convention and introduction to GAROP. The main focus of the workshop presentations will then be to set out tangible, practical actions that can be taken by civil society organisations and other stakeholders at the national level in advocating and campaigning for a UN convention. Any National Human Rights Institutions present will be involved and invited to contribute. The workshop will be as interactive as possible with space provided for questions and dialogue with the activists and the sharing of ideas among participants.
National level advocacy and campaigning is the bedrock of our work towards a UN convention. The workshop presenters are Global Alliance members and trained activists from Africa and Asia who will share their stories and experiences of campaigning on older people’s human rights and a UN convention in their countries. The workshops will showcase some of the inspiring grassroots activism on older people’s rights that is currently taking place in regions around the world and will bring these critical national level perspectives to the conference.
Each presenter will focus on a different aspect of advocacy and campaigning drawing on their own particular strengths and experiences. They will explain the challenges they face in their country in advocacy on older people’s rights and a UN convention, the approaches they have adopted, and the impact they have had. Their topics will include:
- Mobilising a grassroots movement of older campaigners (Elisha Sibale)
- Building a national coalition of NGOs for joint advocacy (Ferdoushi Begum)
This conference will also act as a key moment in the timeline of the global ‘Age With Rights’ campaign. This workshop will provide a vital opportunity to raise awareness of the campaign with a wider audience and highlight ways in which participants can get involved and support this campaign in the months leading up to the 12th OEWG session. It will also be used as an opportunity to promote and encourage participation in other events at the conference that will focus on older people’s rights and a UN convention.