UNITED NATIONS, April 15 (Xinhua) -- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said Monday that older persons have the potential to continue contributing to the society, calling for adequate social protection for them.
Bachelet told the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing that with progress in health, many people might be living up to 100 years of age by 2050 and have the potential to "make significant contributions to our society and economy."
Yet, she noted, social protection is lacking for older persons, with one in 10 older persons facing abuse every month and many of them are barred from seeking jobs for which they qualify.
In her video message to the 10th session of the group, she said social protection is fundamental human rights, stressing "the capacity of older persons to enjoy human rights is in danger without an adequate social attention."
In particular, she pointed out that older women are at risk as they tend to live longer than men do and that fewer women than men participate in the formal sector, and the unpaid care work they perform throughout their lifetime can impede their ability to access opportunities.
Social and economic policies need to correct this imbalance by promoting equality between women and men, she stressed.
"Social security is not a privilege limited to rich countries," she continued. "Research by ILO (International Labour Organization) shows that even the poorest countries could afford a universal social protection system."
In this context, she called for the establishment of a universal social protection system and its implementation in accordance with human rights and standards.