uOttawa delegation advocates for older persons and human rights at the UN

Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2016


The International Longevity Centre Canada (ILC-Canada), in partnership with the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Health Sciences, will host internationally renowned experts today to discuss ageism and promote the rights of older persons in a presentation to senior officials and delegates from member states at the United Nations (UN) in New York City.

Housed at the University of Ottawa, ILC-Canada is a member of the ILC Global Alliance, an international consortium with member organizations in 17 countries. Its President, Margaret Gillis, will chair the event.

“It is a privilege for the Faculty of Health Sciences to be playing a key role in the Open-Ended Working Group side-event for the purpose of strengthening the protection of the human rights of older persons. It is our ambition that this event be a significant milestone on the road to creating an international convention for the rights of older persons.” said Hélène Perrault, Dean at the Faculty of Health Sciences. “The Faculty of Health Sciences aims to be a key player in leading projects on the welfare and rights of older persons. Our partnership with ILC-Canada and our annual symposium are just a few examples of our commitment to this cause.”

“There are international conventions protecting the human rights of most vulnerable groups, including children, persons with disabilities, and women,” explained Margaret Gillis, ILC-Canada President. “Yet, there is no convention that protects the rights of the elderly. We are working to achieve a rights convention for older persons.”

Marc-André Blanchard, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the UN, is expected to speak on the work of the Government of Canada on ageism. Rosa Kornfeld Matte, the UN independent expert on the human rights of older persons, will speak about her report on the strengths of and gaps in existing laws to protect and enhance the human rights of older persons.

The University of Ottawa delegation will include a number of experts on ageism, covering various aspects of the rights of older people:

  • Hélène Perrault, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences: closing remarks
  • Martine Lagacé, Faculty of Arts: ageism and work
  • Linda Garcia, Faculty of Health Sciences: ageism and health care
  • Kiran Rabheru, Faculty of Medicine: ageism in hospitals
  • Gordon DiGiacomo, Faculty of Social Sciences: the merits of a convention on the human rights of older people

This side-event to a working session of the UN’s Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing will stream live on UN Web TV at 1:15 p.m.

We acknowledge and thank our presenting sponsor, the Federation for Ageing in Dignity and Overall Quality (FADOQ), for its generous support.

About ILC-Canada

ILC-Canada is an independent think tank focussing on the rights of older persons, and part of a global alliance that is driving change to adapt to demographic aging.  Its goal is to better the lives of older persons in Canada and around the world. 

About the Faculty of Health Sciences and the University of Ottawa—A crossroads of cultures and ideas

The Faculty of Health Sciences is a leader in research on aging, with expertise on the physical and cognitive changes that occur as people get older. The University of Ottawa is one of Canada’s top 10 research-intensive universities.  It is committed to practical, solution-oriented research to help Canada deal with the challenges it will face over the coming decades.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Isabelle Mailloux Pulkinghorn

Acting Manager, Media Relations

University of Ottawa



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