Finland: UN rights expert to assess situation of older persons

Geneva, October 25, 2021.- UN human rights expert Claudia Mahler will carry out an official visit to Finland from 26 October to 4 November 2021 to assess the human rights situation for older people in the country.

“I find it encouraging that Finland, being one of the most rapidly ageing countries in the world, provides multiple tools for older persons to enjoy their human rights, including through social protection, services and facilities in later life,” the Independent Expert on the rights of older persons said.

“This will be an important opportunity to learn first-hand how care facilities coped with the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be a chance for me to identify and exchange good practices, including in the areas of promoting and protecting the human rights of older persons and to share recommendations.

“I am particularly interested in learning how long term care has evolved since 2019 when reports of widespread neglect in care facilities in Finland emerged and the effectiveness of any legislative changes made since then.”

Mahler said she was looking forward to learn more about Finland’s comprehensive policy framework, the National Programme on Ageing 2030: for an age-competent Finland, in relation to older persons and how it addresses the human rights concerns of an ageing population.

Mahler will also assess issues such as social security, care provision, elder abuse, age discrimination and ageism, digital inclusion and meaningful participation as well as specific contexts such as rural areas and deprivation of liberty.

The expert, who is visiting Finland at the invitation of the Government, will travel to Helsinki and Imatra for discussions with government representatives, including at the municipal and regional levels. She will also meet with civil society organizations and older persons themselves.

Mahler will hold a press conference to share her preliminary findings at 12:00 on Thursday 4 November 2021 at UNDP Finland, Siltasaarenkatu 4, 7th floor,Helsinki. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

Her full findings and recommendations will be presented in a report to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2022.

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