Ageing, Human Rights and Public Policies

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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.



Uneven population ageing in the region

Demographic transition is a model used to describe the basic characteristics of countries’ population changes, and it consists of several stages. In the first stage, birth and mortality rates are high, which produces low population growth. In the second (truly transitional) stage, a reduction in mortality and a continuing high birth rate lead to an increase in population growth rates. In the third phase, known as advanced transition, mortality rates have fallen and birth rates decline too, which results in increasingly lower rates of population growth. In the post-transition phase, birth rates drop below the level of mortality rates, thus resulting in extremely low or even negative natural population growth (Chackiel, 2004; Schkolnik, 2007; Villa and González, 2004).


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