Rights of older persons

Safeguarding the rights of older persons is an important part of protecting, monitoring and promoting fundamental and human rights. Elderly people have the right to inclusion, a dignified life and adequate services. Older persons have the same fundamental and human rights are younger people, although it may become more difficult to implement these in practice as a person ages.

From the perspective of fundamental and human rights an older person bears their own rights and is not merely an object of actions. Older persons should also not be seen as a homogeneous group, as each as them is an individual based on their background, life situation and characteristics. More information is still needed on the implementation and more effective promotion of the fundamental and human rights of older persons. At the same time, existing information must be utilised better than before to support decision making.


Human Rights Centre promotes the implementation of the rights of older persons

In spring 2019, work began at the Human Rights Centre to promote the rights of older persons as its own priority area. The aim is to strengthen the legislative perspective in activities and decision making related to older persons as well as more extensively with regard to attitudes.

To survey the current status of elderly persons the Human Rights Centre will meet extensively with the sector’s key organisations and other actors and will focus its own activities on shortcomings that come up. As part of its effort to promote the rights of older persons, the Human rights Centre will, for example, publish reports and thematic reviews related to the subject area and influence decision making and legislation related to the rights of older persons.


Cooperation with the Parliamentary Ombudsman

The Human Rights Centre works in close cooperation with the Parliamentary Ombudsman in promoting the rights of older persons. The Ombudsman’s tasks includes oversight of legality related to the rights of older persons. The Parliamentary Ombudsman has implemented the more effective monitoring of the realisation of older people’s rights, for example, in round-the-clock housing service units and institutions. 

Information on the rights of older persons on the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s website  


Contact information:

Sanna Ahola, Expert, Rights of older persons 


Susan Villa, Expert, Communications and Influencing, Rights of older persons