The rights laid down in international agreements generally apply to older persons in the same way they do to other people. There are currently no international agreements or documents that focus specifically on the rights of older persons. Even so, many international human rights agreements and other international and regional mechanisms are also essential with regard to the rights of older persons.
- Article 23 of the Council of Europe’s (CoE) revised European Social Charter guarantees the right of older persons to social protection. As a CoE member state, Finland has committed to complying with the obligations listed in the Charter.
- Older persons are mentioned separately in Articles 25 (the right to good health) and 28 (the right to an adequate standard of living and social protection) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The CRPD entered into force in Finland in 2016.
The majority of documents that cover the human rights of older persons are non-binding, meaning they are soft law instruments that do not legally bind countries.
- One of the most important of these instruments is the UN Principles for Older Persons, which the UN approved at its General Assembly in 1991.
- The purpose of the principles was to supplement already existing binding human rights agreements.
- In 2014, the UN appointed its first Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons.