The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) wants the aged to be factored into mainstream development policies.
In a statement to mark the International Day of Older Persons under the theme “Resilience of older persons in a changing world, CHRAJ expressed appreciation for the policy interventions in place for the elderly in society.
“Prominent among these are the National Ageing Policy (NAP), which sought to address several ageing issues, The National Pension Scheme, and the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP). These have worked to improve the rights and well-being of older persons in Ghana.”
It however believes there is a lot more to do.
“For instance, the NAP which was promulgated in 2010 with the aim to achieve the overall social, economic, and cultural re-integration of older persons into mainstream society is yet to be fully implemented. The National Pension Scheme has a limiting scope, as a majority of older persons in Ghana who work in the informal sector and are unable to contribute to the scheme are excluded from any pension benefits or any other income support in their old age.”
“Also, the National Ageing Bill, which is to integrate the rights and needs of older persons into national policies, is yet to be finalized and passed into law. In addition, Ghana is yet to ratify the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Older Persons.”
The Commission also wants ageing issues to be mainstreamed into national development policies.
The active participation of older persons in society and development is based on providing older persons with the opportunity to continue contributing to society. These contributions reach beyond their economic activities and extend into their roles in families and in the community.
Participation in social, economic, cultural, sporting, recreational, and volunteer activities also contributes to the growth and maintenance of the personal well-being of older persons.
The Commission further recommends government to pay attention to and challenge negative stereotypes and misconceptions about older persons and the aged, and pursue age-friendly environments free of physical and social barriers, and enable older persons to realize their potential, while promoting policy dialogues to enhance the protection of older persons’ human rights, and recognize their contributions to sustainable development.
The 2022 International Day of Older Persons is a call to action and opportunity aimed at embracing the voice of older persons and displaying their resilience and contribution to society.