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WHO Global Forum for Innovation for Ageing Populations in Kobe, Japan

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Helen Campbell, Vice-President of AGE Platform Europe, and Age & Opportunity’s former Head of Policy and Active Citizenship, was invited in October to speak at the WHO Global Forum for Innovation for Ageing Populations in Kobe, Japan. This conference focused on what needs to be done to understand global demographic change as a positive opportunity and to emphasise equality as a core principle.

At their forthcoming General Assembly in November, AGE Platform will call for a comprehensive human rights approach in relation to policy development and service provision to older people. This mirrors the work in Ireland of the Human Rights of Older People (HROP) Working Group, of which Age & Opportunity is an active member. As part of the group’s work, Community Action Network (CAN) is working with groups of older people to explore the practical issues that those older people are facing in their lives, using a human rights ‘lens’.

Speaking about human rights in healthcare in her speech in Japan, Helen said: “This approach will require a change in attitude – from all population groups, including older people themselves. A more positive image of ageing needs to emerge to counteract the stereotypes that prevail which can lead to discrimination. Older people are no more a homogenous group than any other group – they may be male or female, straight or gay, married or not, rich or poor, working, unemployed or retired – each and all of these factors can influence health status and access to health care provision.”

AGE Platform Europe is a European network of organisations of, and for, people aged 50+ which aims to voice and promote the interests of the 150 million senior citizens in the European Union and to raise awareness of the issues that concern those citizens most.

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