Age Nigeria, TOOPC Advocates for Older Persons Rights at UN Summit

In a significant step towards advocating for the rights of older people, reports that the Age Nigeria Foundation, alongside Thani-Oladunjoye Olde People Care Center (TOOPC), has called on the Nigerian Federal Government to take a leading role at this year’s Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG-A), currently ongoing at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Following the successful conclusion of the Age With Rights Global Rally, which spanned from April 5th to May 15th, 2024, two representatives from Nigeria joined the 14th session of the OEWG-A, which began on May 20th and will continue until May 24th, 2024. This rally was pivotal in amplifying the voices of older campaigners across numerous Nigerian communities.

Age Nigeria President, Mrs. Oluwole Oluwayemisi, highlighted in an interview the active participation of older campaigners who shared their experiences through oral statements during workshops and seminars focused on two main areas: accessibility, infrastructure, and habitat (including transport and housing), and participation in public life and decision-making processes. “Older campaigners across the country have been making oral statements, sharing their lived-in experiences during our campaign workshops and seminars on the two focus areas of the fourteenth session,” she stated.

Mrs Oluwole Olayemisi

She emphasized that the global rally would transition into the Age With Rights National Rally. This next phase involves representatives from the New York event leading other campaigners to further engage the government, aiming to integrate older people’s programs into the Federal Government’s Renewed Hope Agenda and community-based programs at the state and local government levels. “The Global Rally will metamorphose into the Age With Rights National Rally, where representatives at the New York event will lead other campaigners and further engage the government,” she stressed.

Highlighting the importance of government action, Mrs. Oluwayemisi called for comprehensive measures to ensure older people’s rights are respected and guaranteed at all levels of government. “There is a need for governments at all levels to guarantee the enjoyment of all rights by older people in our society,” she urged.

Mr. Tunde Thani

She averred that prominent older campaigners are representing Nigeria at the global event, ensuring that the voices of older people are heard. This direct involvement is seen as a crucial step towards influencing policies that affect their human rights. “Member states must hear from older persons. This will give them a great opportunity to be directly involved and influence the process concerning their human rights,” Mrs. Yemisi noted.

Mrs. Oluwayemisi also underscored the necessity of a functional national movement focused on engagement and awareness following the OEWG-A in New York. “We need a functional national movement that will focus more on engagement and awareness at home after the 14th Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing OEWG-A in New York,” she emphasized.

The activities at this year’s UN OEWG-A include substantive oral submissions by National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), along with side events organized by partners such as GAROP, UN agencies, and other organizations accredited to the UN Economic and Social Council. The convention aims to ensure that older people worldwide can age with security and dignity, fully participating in their societies as equal citizens.

Mrs. Oluwole Oluwayemisi reiterated the significance of the OEWG-A, established by the UN General Assembly in 2010, to address gaps in the human rights framework for older persons. “The objectives of the Working Group are to consider the existing international framework of the human rights of older persons and identify possible gaps and how best to address them, including by considering the feasibility of further instruments and measures,” she explained.


Kaka Babatunde

Kaka Babatunde

Kaka Babatunde is a budding academic researcher and media enthusiast whose experience germinated in high school, attaining the Press Club presidency. As an iconic field reporter for 3 years, he is a writer, serial volunteer, and community cum youth development champion whose collaborative efforts have immensely contributed to nation-building in Epe LGA, Lagos, and Nigeria at large.

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