Letter to Minister Garneau and Minister Schulte

The HIV Legal Network sent the following letter to the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors, urging them to protect the rights of older persons.


February 24, 2021
By electronic mail

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Honourable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors

Re: It is time for a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons

In ways both similar to, and different from, the HIV pandemic, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown yet again how the denial and infringement of human rights drives and worsens a public health crisis. One particularly pernicious and tragic dimension of this relationship has been the death toll and other suffering that COVID-19 has taken on older persons, not least because of the failure to act promptly and adequately to protect their health and well-being. COVID-19 has exposed the impact of ageism and discrimination against older persons all around the world and highlighted the need for a legal instrument to protect the human rights of older persons.

The HIV Legal Network is a long-time advocate for human right as one essential touchstone in an effective response to public health challenges and is a long-time supporter and partner of the Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN). I write today in support of the efforts of the International Longevity Centre (ILC) Canada to enlist Canada’s support and leadership for a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons. The ILC’s appeal was made in a letter available at: https://www.ilccanada.org/images/Letter.pdf.

It is time to lay the foundations for a UN Convention to enshrine the rights of older people in a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons. I hope and trust that Canada will be a strong proponent of such a measure to strengthen the international human rights system.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your response.

Richard Elliott
Executive Director

Cc: The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Download the PDF here: