Age Demands Action (ADA)
Age Demands Action (ADA) is a global grassroots campaign led by older people who are challenging age discrimination and fighting for their rights. At present, the campaign is held in 60 countries with over 200,000 campaigners taking part each year by joining marches, meeting governments, collecting signatures to petitions and speaking to the media.
Internationally the campaign is calling for a UN convention on the rights of older people. A UN convention would provide clarity about government responsibilities to protect older people’s rights and provide a system to hold them to account. A convention would also be a powerful advocacy tool and encourage a shift away from the perception of older people as recipients of welfare to rights holders with responsibilities.
Over the course of three years, a petition calling for governments to support a UN convention has gained a massive popularity and received over 250,000 signatures, including signatures from high level officials such as the Prime Minister of Nepal, members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Philippines and members of the European Parliament in Slovenia.
The ADA campaign has three spikes every year:
Age Demand Action on Health
7 April, World Health Day, when campaigners call on their national governments for better access to healthcare for older people;
Age Demand Action for Rights
15 June, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, when campaigners across the world raise awareness of elder abuse and lobby their governments to protect older people; and
Age Demand Action Global
1 October, the International Day of Older Persons
You can show your support for older people by signing the ADA petition on http://www.helpage.org/signthepetition
ADA movements in 2015:
Cambodia: The Federations of older people’s associations (OPAs) in several districts organised campaign parades and hosted a radio talk show. HelpAge Cambodia also helped the Federations to conduct a series of dialogues and consultations with government and development partners at national, provincial and local levels so as to address the current situation and needs of older people.
Fiji: The Fiji Council of Social Services (FCOSS) conducted a series of consultations with various media agencies during September. On 24 September, FCOSS hosted a cocktail event to raise awareness about Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the UN convention on older people’s rights. Participants also discussed issues such as poverty, inequality and climate change.
On 1 October, HON. Rosy Akbar, the Minister for Women’s and Children’s Poverty Alleviation gave a presentation on poverty, inequality and climate change which were affected the elderly to mark the International Day of Older Persons. Community consultations were organised at district levels as well.
Mongolia: In Mongolia, the Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) in partnership with the Mongolian Women’s Fund Campaign (MWFC) took part in an Age Demands Action (ADA) campaign for the first time. Several activities were organised in October.
On 5 October, the two groups held a National Advocacy Event with the participation of key decision makers in the capital Ulaanbaatar. Press releases and interviews were distributed to media in the country, reaching an audience of approximately 300,000. Apart from this event, the CHRD and MWFC organised awareness raising activities and mobilised community-based organisations in suburban districts and rural provinces throughout the month of October.
Myanmar: On 1 October 2015, 488 participants from Older People Self-help Groups (OPSHGs) across the country, government departments, UN agencies, as well as internatioal NGOs, and civil society organisations (CSOs) joined together to celebrate an International Day of Older Persons event hosted by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement. The event focussed on the integral role of older people in society and advocated the protection of those who are particularly vulnerable and in need of support. Her Excellency Dr. Daw Myat Myat Ohn Khin concluded the event by encouraging people of all ages to work towards a safer environment for older people.
Philippines: To mark the 25th International Day of Older Persons and Elderly Filipino week, the Coalition of Services of the Elderly (COSE) organised the Annual Walk for Life to campaign for an improved social pension for the elderly, and in particular to demand a Universal Social Pension.
On the same day, an exhibition and photo booth was set up to provide information on the results of the Social Pension Review conducted by COSE and HelpAge and also to solicit the general public’s and older people’s opinions on a Universal Social Pension.
Vietnam: In Hanoi, the Vietnamese Association of the Elderly (VAE) organised a meeting to introduce the content of the new draft of the UN Convention on Older People. Representatives of older people were invited to attend the meeting.
In the evening, a live show entitled “Dream of Golden Age” took place and around 1,500 people attended. During this event, which was broadcast on national television, the chairwoman of the VAE presented the key messages from the morning’s meeting to government leaders. The event was broadcast live on national television.
ADA movements in 2014:
1 October – Lao P.D.R.
Lao Women’s Union (LWU) organised a public event in Boulykhamxay province to celebrate the 2014 International Day for Older Persons on the 7th October. It aimed to raise awareness of concerned agencies and the public about the importance of community-based approach in addressing the care needs of older people.
1 October – the Philippines
Our Philippines affliliate, Coalition of Services of the Elderly, held a walk today in Manila together with the Confederation of Older Persons’ Associations of the Philippines to celebrate IDOP2014 and call for better implementation of the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act (Republic Act No. 9994).
29 September – Cambodia
A delegation of older people from Older People’s Associations (OPAs) and OPA Federations met with the Provincial Governor of Battambang, to discuss the situation of older people in Cambodia and the urgent need for a universal social pension scheme. Key OPA spokespersons, along with HelpAge Cambodia staff, participated in a one-hour talk-show on the Chamka Chek state-run radio station.
21 September – Jakarta, Indonesia
As part of the Age Demands Action campaign, 115 members of our Indonesian affiliate, Yayasan Emong Lansia (YEL), marched with members of Alzheimer Indonesia in Jakarta.