At the 48th Session of the Human Rights Council, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, reiterated the importance of the ratification and entry into force of the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa (Older Persons Protocol). During the interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, the Centre for Human Rights advocated for the ratification of the Older Persons Protocol by African states to ensure improved protection of the rights of older persons on the continent.
The Older Persons Protocol is an important regional complement to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) for the protection of the rights of older persons in Africa. The Protocol provides contextual guidance to African states by addressing vulnerabilities created by intersecting identities, such as protection from harmful practices like accusations of witchcraft. It also gives a supervisory role to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Even though 49 African states have ratified the CRPD, only 2 African states have to date ratified the Older Persons Protocol, thus stalling the entry into force of the Older Persons Protocol. The Older Persons Protocol has however been signed by 17 African states.
“The Centre for Human Rights urges the Human Rights Council to encourage these 17 African states, as well as other African states, to strengthen their obligations to protect the rights of older persons by ratifying the Older Persons Protocol as a regional continent-specific complement to the CRPD” said Mr Foluso Adegalu, Associate Manager, Litigation and Implementation Unit, Centre for Human Rights.
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