An Australian Human Rights Act will make an explicit universal statement, that reaffirms that older persons are entitled to human rights and fundamental freedoms on the same basis as everyone else, OPAN CEO Craig Gear has told the Federal Inquiry into Australia’s Human Rights Framework today.
The rights of older people are the same universal rights afforded to all adults, though the ways in which some rights apply to older persons may vary; hence the need for explicit, tailored protections.
A new Human Rights Framework and Act will enhance those rights in aged care which must then align with any Human Rights Act and protect the rights of older people in general. It will also, as older people say to OPAN, enable them to remain self-determining, autonomous citizens, connected to their communities.
OPAN is strongly supportive of measures and strategies which embed and translate a human rights-based approach into practice and into action. Appropriate legislation and investment is required to transition to this new mindset and framework.
“That’s why we are calling for a Human Rights Act that will clearly outline the rights of older people as they age, providing dignity and respect throughout their life.”
Mr Gear said the Australian Government must establish robust mechanisms within the Human Rights Act to evaluate its impact and provide accountability and transparency on breaches of rights.
For further information read OPAN’s Submission on an Australian Human Rights Act here.