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STATEMENT
BY
HON. NANA OYE LITHUR
MINISTER FOR GENDER, CHILDREN AND SOCIAL
PROTECTION
AT THE
SIXTH WORKING SESSION OF THE
...
Mr. Chairman, Distinguished delegates
On behalf of my delegation, I take this opportunity to congratulate you and the othe...
and Social Protection, a focal desk on elderly persons has been created to coordinate
activities on elderly persons and to...
vi) Provision for the right to social security and social protection.
In conclusion Mr Chairman, Ghana fully endorse the c...
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Ghana Statement

  1. 1. STATEMENT BY HON. NANA OYE LITHUR MINISTER FOR GENDER, CHILDREN AND SOCIAL PROTECTION AT THE SIXTH WORKING SESSION OF THE OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON AGEING ON AGENDA ITEM 4: EXISTING INTERNATIONAL FRAMEWORKONTHE HUMAN RIGHTS OF OLDER PERSONS AND IDENTIFICATION OF EXISTING GAPS AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL NEW YORK, 14-16 JULY, 2015
  2. 2. Mr. Chairman, Distinguished delegates On behalf of my delegation, I take this opportunity to congratulate you and the other members of the Bureau on your election. My delegation is confident that your leadership and rich experience will ensure a fruitful and successful outcome of this session. We assure you of our full support and cooperation. As all present are aware, statistics on the trend of global population of older persons is on the increase. This trend has been attributed to the positive revolution in longevity resulting in an increase in global life expectancy. About 20 per cent of the world’s population is projected to be 60 years and above by year 2050, Ghana currently has 6.7 per cent of its population made up of older persons above 60 years and this will continue to increase. This is indeed a global achievement as the trend is not only limited to developed countries but developing countries including my country Ghana. This collective global achievement calls for a global approach at addressing the challenges that comes with it. As global as the achievement of global positive longevity is the challenges that older persons are confronted with. The challenges older persons in developed countries face such as discrimination, income insecurity, access to health care, unemployment, abuse, access to proper transport systems etc. are no different from those of developing countries but the absence of proper infrastructure and adequate financing for social safety nets for older persons make the situation worse for developing countries. Notwithstanding these challenges, the contributions of older persons in society are invaluable. In Africa, although older persons engage in economic activities such as farming and petty trading most of their contributions cannot be measured in economic terms; often playing role in conflict resolution, caregiving, passing on morals and cultural values to the young population. Mr. Chairman, Although currently there is no specific international human right framework for the right of older persons to serve as a guideline for other countries, progress has been made by individual countries to promote and protect the right of older persons. The constitution of Ghana is not silent on the human rights of older persons. It fully guarantee’s the promotion of human rights and freedom of older persons. We agree that discussion of old-age issues from a human rights perspective helps to assess situations and policy responses using a consistent set of values and principles. Taking into consideration specific local needs and drawing from international policy documents such as the Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging and the African Union Policy Framework Ghana in July 2010 launched its national ageing policy. The month of July again marks a very important day for older persons in Ghana as the annual senior citizens day is celebrated on 1st July. Mr. Chairman, We in Ghana for the past two years made modest progress at promoting the welfare of older persons in Ghana. Under the Social Protection Directorate at Ministry of Gender, Children
  3. 3. and Social Protection, a focal desk on elderly persons has been created to coordinate activities on elderly persons and to ensure the full implementation of the national ageing policy, over 5,000 elderly persons have freely been registered onto the National Insurance Scheme, the drafting instructions has been sent to the Attorney General’s Office to initiate the drafting of an Aged Bill which will eventually become an Act giving legal backing for the implementation of pro-elderly interventions. The Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Cash Transfer Programme which started in 2008 is aimed at lessening the plight of Orphans, persons with extremely poor households, and the aged. It has helped more than 70,000 households by 2013 since its inception. Ghana early this year launched a programme called the ‘Eban’ Elderly Welfare Card Programme; the programme seeks to use social safety net to ensure the elderly live in dignity. Under the programme older person receive 50 per cent discount on public transport fare to any destination in Ghana, they also receive priority access to services at the hospitals, banks, transport terminal and other social services that older persons might require, 25,000 elderly persons are expected to be enrolled on the program nationwide. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Ghana and the Aahus Social Health Care Collage of Denmark to support the introduction and mainstreaming of geriatrics at the various health training schools in Ghana. A witch camp which had 70 per cent of its inmate being older women 70 years and above was recently closed down and the inmate reintegrated into society, this is one of our effort dealing with abuse and discrimination against older person and older women in particular. Mr. Chairman Despite these modest achievements, older persons in Ghana continue to face some form of discrimination and abuse. Going forward, we propose that specific international standards on older persons’ rights will ensure the following: i) Prohibition of all forms of discrimination against older persons on the basis of old age alone or in combination with other factors; ii) Elimination of all barriers that prevent older persons from enjoying their rights on an equal basis with others; iii) Enhancing the legal capacity of older persons, including the provision of legal support to enable them exercise their rights on an equal basis with others; iv ) Elimination of all barriers to the right of personal mobility of older persons, including full access to affordable and safe transport on an equal basis with others, and mobility aids and devices; v) Protection from all forms of violence and abuse, especially for older women, including from harmful traditional practices, torture in any form, expulsion from the home and any inhuman and degrading treatment;
  4. 4. vi) Provision for the right to social security and social protection. In conclusion Mr Chairman, Ghana fully endorse the comprehensive approach and the leading role of the United Nations and support the continuous effort by the international community to develop the appropriate legal framework and tools to effectively address gaps and challenges faced by older persons. Thank You.

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