Protection of Older Persons’ Right to Healthcare by United Nations Human Rights Treaties

Publication Information

Journal Title: International Journal Of Legal Developments And Allied Issues
Author(s): Alphonce Paul Mbuya
Published On: 31/10/2022
Volume: 8
Issue: 5
First Page: 36
Last Page: 47
ISSN: 2454-1273
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

DOI: doi.org/10.55662/IJLDAI.2022.8501

Cite this Article

Alphonce Paul Mbuya, Protection of Older Persons’ Right to Healthcare by United Nations Human Rights Treaties, Volume 8 Issue 5, International Journal Of Legal Developments And Allied Issues, 36-47, Published on 31/10/2022, doi.org/10.55662/IJLDAI.2022.8501 Available at https://ijldai.thelawbrigade.com/article/protection-of-older-persons-right-to-healthcare-by-united-nations-human-rights-treaties/

Abstract

This article examines the protection of older persons’ right to healthcare by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights treaties. Although there are diverse scholarly views on its nature and scope, health is firmly recognised as a right by UN human rights treaties which define health as a right and impose certain obligations on states for realising it. Therefore, the inclusion of the right to health in various human rights instruments is the basis for understanding the normative framework of the right as it applies to older persons and the nature of the measures which states must take to ensure its realisation. At the UN level, human rights treaties offer very limited protection to older persons, in part due to the absence of a specific treaty on older persons. However, soft law instruments adopted under the auspices of the said treaties elaborate the application of specific rights (including healthcare) to older persons. It is argued that the limited protection of older persons’ rights in the UN treaties should not be an excuse for states to take special measures to ensure realisation of older persons’ right to healthcare. Moreover, elaboration of older persons’ rights in general comments adopted by UN treaty bodies is a clear indication of the need for a specific UN treaty for recognising and protecting older persons’ rights, including healthcare which has been identified as a critical issue affecting older persons worldwide.

Keywords: Older person, right to healthcare, UN human rights treaties, general comments

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