Human rights are for us: ordinary people with ordinary lives

Julie-Binysh-Leila-Hoffman-Alfred-Hoffman-189x300Blog written by Emily McCarron, Policy Manager for Equality and Human Rights, Age UK

This week I attended the world premiere of Sunrise, not Sunset, a wonderful film directed by human rights advocate and campaigner, Debora Singer MBE. The film is about Edith and Sydney, who have been married for over 60 years and who now require varying levels of care. Sydney lives in Sunrise, because Edith is no longer able to provide Sydney with the care he requires but she is hoping to get a place in the same care home so that they can spend the rest of their days together. But when Edith is offered a place in another care home, Sunset, ten miles away from Sydney, she and her adult daughter Judith are heartbroken. However, hope comes in the form of Sydney’s wonderful carer who tells Judith about the Human Rights Act and how they can use the Act to uphold Sydney and Edith’s right to private and family life. The film is touching, personable, funny and uplifting.

Continue reading “Human rights are for us: ordinary people with ordinary lives”

Say no to ageism on International Day of Older Persons

An older woman reading her fuel billBlog written by Emily McCarron, Policy Manager for Equality and Human Rights, Age UK

Birthday cards that mock ageing; negative comments about ‘looking old’ we make about ourselves and others; stereotypical depictions of older people in popular culture and in the media. If we were to make similar comments about gender or race, this would be (rightly) seen as unacceptable and offensive. However, negativity about ageing and older people is pervasive in our society. This is ageism and what might seem like just a joke in a birthday card, can seriously undermine the human rights of older people.

Continue reading “Say no to ageism on International Day of Older Persons”

The time is now right for a UN convention on the rights of older persons

-2934This week in New York City, older people, government representatives, human rights organisations and NGOs from around the world, will meet for the 9th time to discuss the human rights of older people. More specifically, the purpose of this meeting is to consider whether it is time for the international community to have a Convention on the rights of older persons.

Continue reading “The time is now right for a UN convention on the rights of older persons”

This Woman’s Work: more than a centenary celebration

This year, 2018, will see a number of important anniversaries in the fight for women’s equality. The first of these, today, celebrates the centenary of the extension of the vote to some women aged 30 and older.

Later in the year we’ll note

  • the 60th anniversary of the Life Peerages Act 1958 (30th March), which allowed women to sit in the House of Lords
  • the 90th anniversary of the Equal Franchise Act 1928, (2 July) which gave women the right to vote at age 21 on the same terms as men
  • and the 100th anniversary of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918, allowing women to stand for election to the House of Commons (21 November).

The courage and commitment of campaigners for equal suffrage is hard to fully appreciate from our modern viewpoint. Continue reading “This Woman’s Work: more than a centenary celebration”

Safe to be me … at last? Looking at care, welfare and older LGBT people

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We now have laws that protect lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people, rather than persecute them. Something to celebrate. For older people in particular, who lived through criminalisation or being diagnosed as mentally ill, this once seemed unimaginable. But the fact that lots of LGBT people still feel they have to pretend to be straight – at work, at the doctor’s, sometimes even to their family – is indication enough that we need more than legislation to encourage people to feel truly safe to be themselves. Continue reading “Safe to be me … at last? Looking at care, welfare and older LGBT people”

APPG for Ageing and Older People – Why we’re launching an inquiry into human rights

This week the All Party Parliamentary Group for Ageing and Older People is launching a new inquiry into human rights. Between now and the spring we’ll be holding meetings to discuss our key topics, share best practice examples and collect evidence. This will inform a final report of recommendations on how we can further the protection of the rights of older people. Continue reading “APPG for Ageing and Older People – Why we’re launching an inquiry into human rights”

Guest blog: Relaunch of older people and employment inquiry

Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee

This guest blog was contributed by Maria Miller MP, Chair of Women and Equalities Committee. 

Older people make up a crucial part of the UK’s workforce- last year nearly 10 million workers were aged over 50- yet the very real challenges facing them in the workplace rarely make the headlines.

That’s why the House of Commons Women and Equalities committee which I chair is relaunching the older people and employment Inquiry which started just before the General Election. We’re keen to hear from individuals, groups and charities about the challenges that face older people when they’re at work and the obstacles to getting back into work. Continue reading “Guest blog: Relaunch of older people and employment inquiry”