Webinar The missing link

Webinar The missing link

On Tuesday May 17, EveryAGE Counts held a Human Rights Webinar ‘The missing link: Australian leadership and support for a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons.' 

EveryAGE Counts Co-chair Marlene Krasovitsky facilitated a lively and engaging discussion with keynote speakers and panellists on how we can galvanise and mobilise Australian Government leadership domestically and on the global stage in the creation of a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons.

The contributions made by the expert speakers were invaluable and the audience were highly engaged throughout. The speakers and panel included:

  • Julie Byles, Head of the International Longevity Centre (ILC) – Australia and Co-President of the ILC-Global Alliance
  • Bill Mitchell, Principal Solicitor, Townsville Community Law Inc and long-time campaigner for older person human rights
  • Craig Gear, CEO of the Older Persons Advocacy Network
  • Andrew Byrnes, Emeritus Professor of International Law and Human Rights in the Faculty of Law and Justice at the University of New South Wales
  • Robert Tickner AO, Co-Chair EveryAGE Counts

Andrew Byrnes presented his keynote on the benefits of a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons now. Byrnes says “we've reached a critical stage. If the current UN project doesn't bear fruit, there's a prospect it will be delayed for another generation. Advocacy bodies need to push the Australian government to support the push toward a new Convention”.

Julie Byles spoke about why a specific UN convention on older person rights is needed. Byles says, “A convention would not say that older people have different rights but would recognise they require different approaches toward the protection of their rights”.

Bill Mitchell spoke about where Australia stands on a UN convention on the Rights of Older Persons. Mitchell says, “Australia's engagement with the UN working group on a new Convention has been weak and ineffective”.

Craig Gear spoke about what difference a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons would make to aged care. Gear saysDuring Covid-19 we saw constraints and restrictions on older people that were above and beyond what everyone else in society was going through. The current Age Care act does not really touch on human rights”.

Robert Tickner presented his keynote on what is needed to galvanise Australia at all levels into action to become a key player in the creation and implementation of this Convention. Tickner saysHistory on Indigenous rights, anti-nuclear proliferation, and others shows we should not underestimate the power of organised people rallying to achieve a new international human rights standard”.

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