Our rights under threat as we grow old: A timely expert discussion on the intersection of disability and age

Virtual Side event
during the 13th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD
Tuesday, 1 December, 1:15-2:30 pm – NY Time, 7:15-8:30 pm – GVA Time 

Register here

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed in tragic ways the combined effects of ageism and ableism on the rights of older persons with disabilities. Older persons with or without disabilities, and persons with disabilities regardless of their age – have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Older persons with disabilities have been hit the hardest.

Pre-existing barriers have both been magnified by the crisis and mirrored in the response. Older persons, persons with disabilities, especially those living in congregate settings, were identified early in the pandemic as persons at particular risk. Yet, the long-term care sector generally, and residential care in particular, have been largely overlooked in the preparedness and response measures. This resulted in the neglect, abuse, and high rates of death of older people in residential care as well as interruption of essential services for older people living at home.

As a result of Covid-19 related lockdowns, older people with disabilities face restrictions to their freedom of movement as well as barriers to food, healthcare, employment, support in tasks of daily living, and emotional connection. These barriers are magnified for those living in areas of armed conflicts and humanitarian emergencies.

Going forward, it is essential to use the lessons of the crisis to better protect the rights of older persons with disabilities. This includes addressing the chronic neglect of long-term support services and residential care while prioritizing person-centred, integrated, community approaches that put people and their dignity front and centre.

A rights-based approach to ageing and disability also calls for addressing discrimination and empowering people to meaningfully participate in the decisions that affect them.

Join us in the discussion

– Mr. Gerard Quinn, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
– Ms. Claudia Mahler, Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Older Persons
– Ms. Kate Swaffer, Chair, CEO & Co-founder,  Dementia Alliance International (DAI)
Moderator: Bethany Brown, Human Rights Advisor, International Disability Alliance (IDA)

Questions and answers session to follow

Speech-to-text (CART) and International Sign Language interpretation will be available

Register here


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