The Human Rights of Older Persons in Times of Corona

Dr. Carmel Shalev
25 October, 2020

The Zulat Institute for Equality and Human Rights is hereby publishing a report compiled in July-August 2020 by a team of multidisciplinary experts led by Dr. Carmel Shalev, which for the first time formulates a holistic approach to the plight of older persons during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The team consisted of: Prof. Rabia Khalaila, Dr. Rami Adot, Prof. Nurit Gutman, Dr. Nihaya Daoud, Prof. Nadav Davidovich, Prof. Yael Hashiloni-Dolev, Prof. Dafna Hecker, Adv. Dorit Alon-Kasher, Dr. Etienne Lepicard, Prof. Danny Filk and Prof. Mark Clarfield.

Through this report, we aim to introduce into the public and media discourse the importance of viewing older persons according to relevant criteria such as underlying conditions, disabilities, fragility, and dependence on others in day-to-day activities.

In this report we unequivocally affirm that imposing special restrictions on individuals and groups solely because of their chronological age violates the human right to human dignity and equality and constitutes ageist discrimination forbidden by law. Furthermore, the government must take active steps to ensure that social and cultural solutions are found for older persons, particularly the 97% living in the community rather than in institutions.

The report includes 32 operational recommendations on a wide range of issues, including solutions to the systemic failures that created the unstable foundation upon which governmental and social support for older persons rests.