Inspiring active ageing this Human Rights Day


Together with the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP) Tafta is petitioning for a world more supportive of older people and their rights, as the rate of longevity and global ageing population increases.

GAROP launched a petition in December last year which calls for a United Nations convention on the Rights of Older People to empower and support active ageing, and address the existing gaps brought on by ageism and age discrimination. Earlier this year, Tafta launched the Sawubona initiative aimed at combating ageism through recognizing and acknowledging the value of older people by engaging with them and sharing their unique stories – this was a continuation of our commemorative 65th anniversary celebration where Tafta residents and their stories were spotlighted in a spectacularly curated runway show!

“There is a growing global population of people aged 60 and over that is expected to double by the year 2050,” said Femada Shamam, CEO of Tafta. “With South Africa’s National Human Rights Day approaching, we are calling on support for our joint campaign with GAROP to inspire an all-inclusive society where older people are seen, heard and they can enjoy the right to care and protection.”

Despite the existence of International Human Rights, older people remain invisible in these laws that fail to prohibit age-based discrimination. The joint Age with Rights and Inspiring Active Ageing campaign will spread messages highlighting the need for an integrated and comprehensive international instrument stipulating the rights that older people should have. This legal convention will outline the standards required to guarantee older people the full enjoyment of their human rights, addressing gaps around the right to work, lifelong learning and others that limit the full potential of older people.

Shamam shared that Tafta’s Inspiring Active Ageing campaign supports the global rally of GAROP to urge government participation in the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group meeting being held in May 2024 where existing frameworks and possible gaps relating to the human rights of older people will be examined, and possible solutions will be discussed.

“We encourage our supporters to be a part of the progression to a world where we ourselves as older people will be protected from discrimination, neglect, exclusion and other violations of our human rights. Individuals can join the movement by sharing our social media posts and signing the petition on our website.

“We encourage care partners in the elder sector to join our #inspiringactiveageing campaign to support this global initiative. Every promotion of upholding human rights for older people will increase the awareness around the need to establish a framework that recognizes and supports people as they age,” said Shamam.