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Catalog

Newsletter

Against Ageism and Towards Active Social Citizenship for Older Persons - The Current Use and Future Potential of the European Social Charter (2022)

European Social Charter
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Type of document :
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Language :
English
Size :
2.95 MB
Number of pages :
248
Gerard Quinn and Israel (Issi) Doron
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How can we combat ageism and ensure active social citizenship for older persons? How can we effectively use international human rights instruments and in particular the European Social Charter to combat discrimination against older people? How can we better cooperate to ensure the rights of older persons are guaranteed?

This study examines how the situation of older people in Europe can be improved and how the different international human rights standards can be optimised to uphold the rights of older persons and inspire national policies ensuring respect for dignity, equality and non-discrimination. It also analyses the role of different stakeholders - governments, civil society, national human rights institutions/equality bodies - and whether and how the European Social Charter can equip all of them to interact effectively in moving Europe away from the ageist laws and policies of the past.

More importantly, the study lays out a vision of how the Charter can be optimised in the future as Europe struggles to eliminate ageist laws and policies. Therefore, the meeting aims to examine the suggested recommendations and explore concrete ways of their implementation at national level.

The European Social Charter, adopted in 1961 and revised in 1996, is the counterpart of the European Convention on Human Rights in the field of economic and social rights. It guarantees a broad range of human rights related to employment, housing, health, education, social protection and welfare. No other legal instrument at pan-European level provides such an extensive and complete protection of social rights as that provided by the Charter. The Charter is therefore seen as the Social Constitution of Europe and represents an essential component of the continent’s human rights architecture.
FOREWORD 
INTRODUCTION 
1. IDEAS: THE EVOLUTION OF IDEAS AND LAW ON THE RIGHTS OF OLDER PERSONS 
1.1 The importance of terminology: age, ageing, old age and older persons 
1.2 The ageing of Europe 
1.3 Some unique aspects of the ageing of Europe 
1.4 Combatting ageism whilst embracing the ageing of Europe 
1.5 A 21st century human rights agenda – uprooting ageism in law and practice 
2. THE UNITED NATIONS AND OTHER REGIONAL INITIATIVES 
2.1 UN system - Stage 1: invisibility in UN instruments (1940s-1980s) 
2.2 UN system - Stage 2: ageing as an economic development/social problem 
2.3 UN system – Stage 3: the struggle for recognition, personhood, group identity and human rights 
2.4 Regional action in the Americas – the Inter-American Convention on protecting the rights of older persons 
2.5 Regional action in Africa - Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the rights of older persons in Africa (2016) 
3. REGIONAL RECEPTION OF THE NEW THINKING: EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENTS 
3.1 Council of Europe 
3.2 European Union 
3.3 Conclusions – overall European trends against ageism 
4. THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL CHARTER TREATY SYSTEM: PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE 
4.1 The Treaties explained 
4.2 The rights protected 
4.3 European Committee of Social Rights - practice and procedures. 
4.4 The role of the Governmental Committee of the European Social Charter and the European Code of Social Security 
4.5 The role of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe with respect to the European Social Charter 
4.6 Conclusions: facing the future with the Charter
5. THE CENTRALITY OF EQUAL TREATMENT/NON-DISCRIMINATION IN THE CHARTER (ARTICLE E): SOCIAL CITIZENSHIP REFRESHING SOCIAL RIGHTS 
5.1 Equality as an overarching guarantee 
5.2 The addition of Article E in 1996 
5.3 Three phases of thinking about equality/non-discrimination in the UN treaty system 
5.4 The European Committee of Social Rights jurisprudence under Article E: autonomy, respect for difference, inclusion and active citizenship 
5.5 Discrimination methodology under the European Social Charter 
5.6 Conclusions: the added value of equality in considering the social rights of older persons 
6. THE CONCEPT OF ”PROGRESSIVE REALISATION” UNDER THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL CHARTER: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE RIGHTS OF OLDER PERSONS 
6.1 Background to the concept 
6.2 Origin and use of the concept in the ICESCR 
6.3 The evolution of “progressive realisation”’ in the European Social Charter 
6.4 Conclusions: How to frame the parameters of “progressive realisation” under the Charter: key benchmarks and relevance for older persons 
7. ARTICLE 23 OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL CHARTER: THE SWORD AND SHIELD OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL CHARTER AGAINST AGEISM 
7.1 The reporting system and the Committee's conclusions on Article 23 
7.2 The operationalisation of social rights: the Committee’s standards for examining State reports under Article 23 
7.3 The collective complaints system and Article 23 
7.4 Article 23 – from invisibility to visibility of older person’s social rights 
8. SUBSTANTIVE SOCIAL RIGHTS AND OLDER PERSONS 
8.1 Economic independence: the right to work (Article 1) 
8.2 A social floor – freedom from want: rights to social security (Article 12), social and medical assistance (Article 13), freedom from poverty and social exclusion (Article 31) 
8.3 Housing – independent living and being included in the community (Article 31)
8.4 Health – a right to equal treatment (Article 11) 
8.5 Family support – the ecosystem for older persons (Article 16) 
8.6 Conclusions – using the full spectrum of social rights for older persons 
9. EMERGENCIES AND THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL CHARTER: KEY PRINCIPLES  
9.1 Derogations, restrictions and retrogressive measures under the European Social Charter 
9.2 Statement of interpretation of the European Committee of Social Rights on the right to protection of health in times of pandemic 
9.3 Thematic questions from the Committee to States Parties on health social security and social protection (2021) 
9.4 Conclusions – emergencies make social rights more rather than less important 
10. THE ENGAGEMENT OF GOVERNMENTS WITH THE RIGHTS OF OLDER PERSONS AND UNDER THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL CHARTER 
10.1 Summary of the responses 
10.2 Analysis of the responses 
11. ENGAGEMENT OF NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS AND NATIONAL EQUALITY BODIES WITH THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL CHARTER 
11.1 Summary of the responses 
11.2 Analysis of the responses 
12. CIVIL SOCIETY ENGAGEMENT WITH THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL CHARTER: SURVEY RESULTS AND ANALYSIS 
12.1 Results of the survey 
12.2 Analysis of the survey results
13. CONCLUSIONS AND KEY RECOMMENDATIONS 
13.1 Conclusions 
13.2 Recommendations 
BIBLIOGRAPHY 
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS