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Discussion with HRC Independent Expert on Older Persons
September 16, 2015

HRC 30: Agenda Item 3

Clustered ID with Independent Expert on Older Persons

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

As delivered by Jason Mack

The United States thanks the Independent Expert for her report, which addresses elder abuse and violence against older persons, among other topics. The United States believes side events and panel discussions during the HRC session are a useful way for member states to share best practices about concrete initiatives they are pursuing to address the many concerns of older persons. The United States has taken advantage of those fora to highlight a wide range of U.S. laws, policies, and programs that address older persons’ concerns. We co-sponsored a June 2015 Human Rights Council side event commemorating World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. We participated in a CSW 2015 event on violence, abuse, and neglect towards older women. We took part in a 2015 World Health Assembly side event on violence against women and girls across the life cycle, noting the particular vulnerabilities of older women. And we described our domestic responses to elder abuse during the 2014 Commission on Social Development panel on the family.

Domestically, the Social Security Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older American Act comprise the core of our protections and support for older American citizens. We are committed to helping those who are most vulnerable, including older persons from racial and ethnic minority communities, older women, older persons with disabilities, older LGBTI persons, older persons living in rural areas, and older indigenous persons.

We provided detailed answers to the March 2015 questionnaire from Independent Expert Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, which asked about efforts to implement the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. We hope that the many examples of successful U.S. policies, legislation, and programs cited there will help other member states determine how they can tangibly improve the lives of older persons.

Question: The United States has worked to call attention to elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation, concerns that are under-reported and often go unrecognized. Does the Independent Expert see other areas that require further attention from member states, the UN, and civil society?