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Ageing, Human Rights and Public Policies

image of Ageing, Human Rights and Public Policies

The book sets out the framework of rights-based social protection policies and how they apply to the particular situation of the elderly population and looks at the status of older persons in terms of income security, access to health and inclusive environments. It also examines the impacts of population ageing on social protection systems —pensions, health and social services— and gives a general overview of the state of play of older persons’ rights in national legislations and public policies implemented in the region. The publication concludes with a summary of the main challenges that population ageing poses to the building of democratic and inclusive societies and emphasizes the need to move forward in adapting policy responses to the demographic panorama of the coming decades.

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Ageing in the context of a rights-based approach to development

At its thirty-first session (March 2006), ECLAC proposed that “a rights-based approach should be used in framing public policy. The civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights enshrined in binding national and international agreements should form the normative framework for development” (ECLAC, 2006). This perspective alters the rationale on which laws, policies and programmes are based, since the starting point is the existence not simply of persons with needs who require assistance, but of subjects with rights, and these rights impose obligations on the State and the rest of society (Abramovich and Courtis, 2006; OHCHR, 2004; ECLAC, 2006). The individual is therefore the central subject of development, and the guarantees enshrined in the universal system of human rights protection constitute the conceptual framework accepted by the international community and capable of providing a coherent set of principles and rules for guidance (Abramovich, 2004; ECLAC, 2006). This approach is also useful for defining the obligations that States must assume with regard to the economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights to be enforced as part of their long-term strategy.

English

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