Simina 19, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia; // phone:+381 11 30 32 125; fax:+381 11 263 43 48;

European Expert and Stakeholder Meeting to Provide Inputs for the 9th Session of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing


On 12 and 13 April 2018 the European Regional Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations and Age Platform Europe organised a seminar entitled European Expert and Stakeholder Meeting to Provide Inputs for the 9th Session of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing. The seminar was organised at the premises of Age Platform Europe, in Brussels.

The seminar had 36 participants from European national institutions, international organisations, civil society and academia and it covered the following topics in four sessions: Long Term and Palliative Care; Equality and Non-Discrimination; Violence, Neglect and Abuse; Autonomy and Independence.

For the session of Long Term and Palliative Care the objective was to provide expert input to the OEWG on Ageing in relation to a rights-based approach to long-term and palliative care, specifically, to provide insights in how to implement a human rights based approach in Long-term Care Settings, to come up with safeguards as to protect the right of older people to decide about individual treatment preferences and where they receive care as well as to ensure that older persons’ palliative and long-term care is progressively available, accessible, acceptable, and of sufficient quality for all, without discrimination, particularly supporting home-based palliative care. The participants agreed that Long Term Care and PalliativeCare should not be seen as separate forms of care, but rather as a continuum that naturally develops through stages as persons age.

On the first day the two of the other sessions ran in parallel and the objective was to discuss normative content for the development of a possible international standard on the protection of the rights of older people to “Equality and non-discrimination” and “Violence, neglect and abuse” and produce a list of specific normative elements that include the definition equality and freedom from abuse as well as the human rights obligations deriving from these rights. The participants agreed that the definition of violence provided by World Health Organisation and International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse is good but that it needs to be improved and expanded so it can more precisely reflect the multidimensional nature of the problem.

Natasa Todorovic of the Red Cross of Serbia was invited to participate in the seminar as an expert in prevention of elder abuse and human rights of older people.In her discussion she underlined that the states need to have systemic solutions for violence, neglect and abuse, but also that it is essential that these solutions are timely, to educate the professionals, family members and older people themselves on this topic.

In addition to participation of Natasa Todorovic in the seminar, older volunteers of the Red Cross of Serbia provided their inputs for the 9th Session of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing. Their thoughts and opinions will be cited at the session.