Principles in Favor of Older Persons

United Nations Principles for the Elderly

(adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 991 – Resolution 46/91)
The general assembly,
Recognizing the contributions that the elderly make to their respective societies, Recognizing that in the Charter of the United Nations the peoples of the United Nations express, among other things, their determination to reaffirm their faith in the fundamental rights of man, in the dignity and value of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and of large and small nations, and of promoting social progress and raising the standard of living within a broader concept of freedom.
Noting that these rights are set forth in detail in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, in the International Covenant
In compliance with the International Plan of Action on Aging approved by the World Assembly on Aging and endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 37/51 of December 3, 1982,
Recognizing the enormous diversity of situations of the elderly, not only between different countries. But also within each country and among the people themselves. Which requires equally diverse political responses,
Aware that in all countries the number of people reaching an advanced age and in better health is increasing than what has been happening so far,
Aware that science has revealed the falsity of many stereotypes about the inevitable and irreversible decline that age implies,
Convinced that in a world that is characterized by an increasing number and percentage of the elderly, it is necessary to provide people in old age who wish and can make it possible to contribute their participation and contribution to the activities that society develops ,
Aware that the pressures that weigh on family life, both in developing and developed countries. They need to provide support to those who take care of the elderly who need care,
Bearing in mind the norms that have already been set in the International Plan of Action on Aging and in conventions. Recommendations and resolutions of the International Labor Organization, the World Health Organization and other United Nations entities,

Encourages governments to introduce the following principles into their national programs as soon as possible:


  • 1. Older persons should have access to adequate food, water, housing, clothing and health care, through income, support from their families and community and their own self-sufficiency.
  • 2. The elderly should have the opportunity to work or have access to other possibilities of earning income.
  • 3. Older persons should be able to participate in the determination of when and to what extent they will stop working.
  • 4. Older persons should have access to appropriate educational and training programs.
  • 5. Older persons should have the possibility of living in safe environments that are adaptable to their personal preferences and their constantly changing capacities.
  • 6. Older persons should be able to reside in their own home for as long as possible.


  • 7. The elderly must remain integrated in society, actively participate in the formulation and implementation of policies that directly affect their well-being and be able to share their knowledge and skills with the younger generations.
  • 8. Older persons should be able to seek and take advantage of opportunities to serve the community and volunteer in positions appropriate to their interests and abilities.
  • 9. Older persons should be able to form movements or associations of people in old age.


  • 10. Older persons should be able to enjoy the care and protection of the family and the community in accordance with the cultural value system of each society.
  • 11. Older persons should have access to health care services that help them maintain or recover an optimal level of physical, mental and emotional well-being, as well as to prevent or delay the onset of the disease.
  • 12. Older persons should have access to social and legal services that ensure greater levels of autonomy, protection and care.
  • 13. Older persons should have access to appropriate means of institutional care that provide them with protection, rehabilitation and social and mental stimulation in a safe and humane environment.
  • 14. Older persons should be able to enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms when they reside in homes or institutions where care or treatment is provided, with full respect for their dignity, beliefs, needs and privacy, as well as their right to adopt decisions about your care and about the quality of your life.

Self realisation

  • 15. Older persons should be able to take advantage of opportunities to fully realize their potential.
  • 16. Older persons should have access to the educational, cultural, spiritual and recreational resources of society.

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