Elder-Abuse Sub-Committee

The Sub-Committee on Elder Abuse of the Committee on Ageing is committed to education, advocacy and promotion of human rights, dignity, safety and social inclusion of older adults who may experience or be at risk of elder mistreatment and abuse.  The primary activity of the sub-committee is to plan and implement a program for the CONGO Committee on Ageing on scholarship related to promotion of awareness and prevention of elder abuse on or around June 15, which is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). Other activities include formulating statements related to elder abuse prevention and awareness for major United Nations events and hearings, and commenting on documents for review with an eye toward ensuring that issues of elder abuse and exploitation are addressed.

Chair: Susan Somers


Side event: “Elder abuse vs. violence against older persons: what are the differences and what are the solutions?”

Organized by the Group of Friends for Older Persons (GoFOP) 

In commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Monday 15 June 2015 – 1:15pm to 2:30pm
Conference Room TBD- United Nations Headquarters

According to WHO, Elder abuse can be defined as "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person". Elder abuse can take various forms such as physical, psychological or emotional, sexual and financial abuse. 

In many parts of the world elder abuse occurs with little recognition or response. This social problem is usually hidden from the public view and it can be considered mostly a private matter. Nevertheless, elder abuse is an important public health and societal problem that demands a global multifaceted response.

In addition, older women and men are considered to be less valuable to society. As HelpAge has stated, as people get older, they face specific violations to their rights in relation to age discrimination, for example, in access to health care, in employment, in property and inheritance rights, in access to information and education and in humanitarian responses, among other contexts. 

In this framework, the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons has requested for inputs from different actors with the objective to collect information about whether the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) has enhanced the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons or whether it has had a negative impact and which rights have been affected. A comprehensive report on this issue will be presented to the Human Rights Council in September 2016.

The Group of Friends for Older Persons intends to mark the 10th Anniversary of the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by exploring these differing experiences older people face, and discussing root causes and solutions to improving their protection and empowerment.

Moreover, the GOFOP organizes this event with the intention of stimulating and preparing delegations for the future discussions to be held on the 6th Session of the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (July 14-16, 2015), in which member states, UN System and civil society will address the proposals and measures, best practices and lessons learned that will contribute to promoting and protecting the rights and dignity of older persons, as a follow-up to resolution A/RES/69/146 and previous Resolutions of the General Assembly.

The panel will include 4 main speakers. Additional participants will come prepared with short interventions to be delivered from the floor to open an interactive debate.


H.E. Rubén Zamora, Permanent Representative of El Salvador and Chair of the GOFOP.
Mr. Lenni Montiel, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development. OHCHR.
Ms. Bethany Brown, HelpAge International.
H.E Mateo Estremé, Deputy Permanente Representative of Argentina and Chair of the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing.
Member of the GOFOP, TBD. 

For more details, please contact Ms. Egriselda González, Permanent Mission of El Salvador: eagonzalez.un@gmail.com 

 The Group of Friends for Older Persons (GoFOP) is a cross-regional initiative created in 2014, with the purpose of promoting and mainstreaming the rights and dignity of older persons, from a holistic human-rights and development approach, within the United Nations. The current members of the Group are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Barbados, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Slovenia, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey and Uruguay.

This short film was screened at the UN WEAAD program June 26th, 2014.

Proceedings on Elder Abuse (A Sub-committee of the CONGO Committee on Ageing, NY): 

2009, International Panel Discussion on Ageism in the Workplace

Archived material and presentations 

 NGO Committee on Ageing • PO Box 1854 • New York, NY • 10163-1854