The Commission attended the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on Ageing that took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York between 23rd-26th July, 2018 and represented by acting chairperson Dr. Florence Wachira. Kenya is one of the Countries that have a Social Protection Fund for the elderly.
The forum whose dominant agenda was Measures to enhance the promotion and protection of the Human Rights of Older Persons in regard to autonomy, independence, long-term and palliative care. It was attended by State Parties, Non-Governmental Organizations and National Human Rights Institutions with presentations by panelists and interactive discussions.
Some of the key highlights identified as best practice included, integrating ageing in the broad development agenda to ensure no one is left behind, adopting a rights based approach in addressing ageing as well as embracing the potential of ageing population by recognizing and valuing the crucial roles they play in families and community.
Many countries shared their experiences and challenges in addressing issues of the elderly. Kenya was cited as a worthy example for having set up and implemented the cash transfer program for the elderly. Other countries like Israel, Philippines, Bangladesh and Paraguay have different initiatives to keep the elderly active and healthy. Bangladesh has Food for work programs to keep the elderly active.
Among the recommendations made on autonomy and independence include guaranteeing the rights of older persons to make decisions about their lives, assets, property and finances and ensuring that laws have standards to support and uphold rights of the elderly. On long term and palliative care there was a call for innovative ways to deal with degenerative conditions like dementia and provision of assistive technologies and devices without having to replace caregivers.