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World Human Rights Day 2021

Dear Colleagues,

With an overarching belief that “Every older adult in each community around the world, has the right to be treated with respect and dignity”, International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA) leaders once again stand in support of World Human Rights Day on 10 December 2021.

With a 2021 theme of EQUALITY, this important message supports IPA’s belief that not only are all humans born deserving equal rights and dignity, there is no age limit to these rights and therefore must include older adults. Throughout 2021, there have been a number of IPA led initiatives and collaborations to raise awareness of older adult human rights issues including:

  • Virtual program: End of Life Care: Multicultural Perspectives
  • Three IPA presentations at the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) Global Conference on Ageing:
    1. Ageism-the need for a Convention on the rights of older persons
    2. Ageism- its manifestations and impact on the mental health of older persons
    3. “Open for Business”- Is Medical Assistance in Dying or Assisted Suicide ever appropriate for older persons with mental health conditions or psychosocial disability?

All three IFA presentations can be viewed in the On-Demand Congress content (registration required). In addition, IPA Affiliate, the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) published this special issue: Combating Agesim, Mentalism and Abelism: It's time for a United Nations Convention on the Human Rights of Older Persons

Finally, on 10 December the IPA Congress will present a debate entitled: Human Rights & the Mental Health of Older Persons presented by Professors Dawne Garrett (United Kingdom) and Liat Ayalon (Israel).

Please join us on this World Human Rights Day as we continue the work to ensure older adults, especially those with mental health issues, will not be left behind, discriminated against, or treated unequally.

Kiran Rabheru, MD, CCFP, FRCP, DABPN
IPA Board of Directors
Chair, IPA Advocacy Committee


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