The United Nations (UN)’s International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) is annually observed across the globe on October 1 to raise awareness of the contributions and achievements of older individuals (defined as those aged 65 years or older) in society, as well as to promote their well-being and inclusion in all aspects of life.
- 1st October 2023 marks the observance of the 33nd anniversary of the IDOP.
The theme for IDOP 2023 is “Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons: Across Generations.”
- The theme highlights the unique needs of older people globally in terms of their rights and reporting violations, in addition to fostering solidarity through equity and reciprocity between the generations offers long-term solutions to fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG) promise.
i.The background of International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) can be traced back to the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing (WAA), which adopted the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing (VIPAA).
ii.In 1990, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) through Resolution A/RES/45/106 declared October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons (IDOP).
iii.The first IDOP was observed on 1st October 1991.
Objectives of UNIDOP 2023:
i.To increase global knowledge and awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and encourage all stakeholders to commit to protecting the human rights of older people around the world.
ii.To share and learn from intergenerational models for the protection of human rights around the world; and
iii.To encourage governments and UN entities to review their current practices to better integrate a life course approach to human rights in their work, and to ensure the active and meaningful participation of all stakeholders, including civil society, national human rights institutions, and older people themselves, in efforts to strengthen solidarity among generations and intergenerational partnerships.
Significance of Older persons:
i.Older persons are invaluable sources of knowledge and experience and have much to contribute towards peace, sustainable development, and protecting our planet.
ii.United Nations had declared 2020-30 as the Decade of Healthy Ageing to improve the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live.
iii.Rapid growth in the number of people reaching older ages underscores the significance of promoting health, preventing, and treating illnesses throughout the entire course of life.
- The number of older people tripled from around 260 million in 1980 to 761 million in 2021. Between 2021 and 2050, the global share of the older population is projected to increase from less than 10% to around 17%.
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, as the nodal ministry for the cause of senior citizens, has been celebrating the day since 2005 by conferring Vayoshreshtha Sammans to eminent Senior Citizens and Institutions in recognition for their service towards the elderly persons, especially indigent senior citizens.
According to ‘Caring for Our Elders Institutional Responses: India Ageing Report 2023’ released by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) India, along with the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
i.The population of the senior citizen is 10% of India’s population. By 2036, it will be 14.36%. In 2050 it will be 20.8%
ii.The report predicts that by 2046 elderly population will surpassed the population of children (aged 0 to 15 years) in the country.
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World Senior Citizen’s Day is annually celebrated across the globe on 21st August to honour the efforts, contributions, and achievements made by elderly people to society, families, and communities. The day also recognises the issues that an elderly individual faces in old age.