“Over-arching theme: A decade of action and delivery for inclusive sustainable development: implementing the CRPD and the 2030 Agenda for all persons with disabilities.
Sub-themes for the three round tables
Disability and business: realizing the right to work in open, inclusive and accessible environments for persons with disabilities.
Addressing the rights and needs of older persons with disabilities: ageing and demographic trends (co-chair by Liberia and CSO)
Promoting Inclusive environments for the full implementation of the CRPD (co-chair by Finland and CSO)
disabilities: ageing and demographic trends
1. With currently more than 901 million people aged 60 and older in the world, the
rights and needs of older persons are a critical, yet overlooked issue affecting 12 per
cent of the global population.1 Ageing and disability are intimately related.
Worldwide, almost half of those aged 60 years and older have some form of disability.
2. Despite the high prevalence of disability in older populations, the needs and
risks faced by older persons with disabilities and the challenges they face in accessing
the assistance they require, are poorly understood and often left unaddressed. Existing
programmes targeted at disability, for example, tend to be focused on children or
younger adults, while mainstream development programmes, including those
involving older persons, often do not include a disability perspective.
3. Biases and preconceptions about older persons can lead to a failure to recognize
their disabilities. Functional impairments are wrongly perceived a s a natural
consequence of ageing and societal norms normalize disability in older age.
Consequently, older persons themselves may not self-identify as having a disability,
despite often facing significant difficulties that hinder the conduct of their ever yday
life. The age at which a disability is first experienced often affects an individual’s
sense of identity. Persons who acquired a disability before reaching old age and
persons who acquire impairments in old age face a broad set of common challenges,
alongside distinct ones.
4. In the present note, both categories are examined as one group of older persons
with disabilities, mentioning – when relevant – specific challenges that persons
belonging to each subsection may face in certain circumstances.
points may be considered for action:
(a) Strengthening national legislation and policies in line with the Convention
and implementing a human rights-based approach.
(b) Prohibiting all discrimination and combating and eliminating prejudice
and stigma on the grounds of disability and age.
(c) Ensuring access to a wide range of accessible and affordable communitybased support services and arrangements.
(d) Ensuring that different parts of the health-care and social systems are
aligned to meet the needs of older persons with disabilities.
(e) Ensuring the accessibility of the physical environment, transportation,
information and communication technologies, and other facilities and services in
order to build inclusive societies in which older persons with disabilities can live
independently and fully participate in society;
(f) Ensuring effective access to justice and taking all appropriate measures to
combat all forms of violence and abuse against older persons with disabilities.
(g) Putting in place measures and programmes to promote positive
perceptions of older persons with disabilities and raise awareness of their rights
(h) Promoting the participation of older persons with disabilities and their
representative organizations in all decision-making processes related to the
implementation of their rights, including by promoting and implementing an age -
sensitive and disability-inclusive response to and recovery from COVID-19,
promoting peer support and connecting persons with disabilities across the age
(i) Ensuring that older persons with disabilities have access to adequate and
sustainable social protection systems, which may include social (non-contributory)
universal pensions for older persons, and expanding mainstreamed and targeted social
protection to provide support and relief to older persons with disabilities and their
families in times of crisis and in emergencies;
(j) Ensuring that rehabilitation is integrated into health-care systems.
(k) Improving the collection of comparable disability- and age-disaggregated
data to identify and better address the obstacles faced by older persons with
disabilities in the exercise of their rights, and including older persons with disabilities
and their representative organizations in all stages of data collection, analysis and use.