Every 10 December, the world comes together to mark Human Rights Day. On this day, we commemorate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which enshrines the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being.
This year’s Human Rights Day is special, because the UDHR celebrates its 75th birthday. Yet if we were the same age as the UDHR, many of us wouldn’t be enjoying the rights it defines.
An important way to ensure older people’s rights are protected is to guarantee their ability to express their views and interests in ways that genuinely influence policy and decision-making. Within the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing framework, this is called ‘voice and meaningful engagement’.
But voice and meaningful engagement is not always well understood or defined, which can lead to tokenistic representations of older people’s ‘voices’ in ways that don’t value, amplify, and act upon them for transformative change.
That’s why to mark this year’s Human Rights Day, we’re publishing a series of resources to help us integrate voice and meaningful engagement throughout all of our work. Find out more about them below, or visit the UN Decade Platform’s VOICE hub to explore them.
- Voice and meaningful engagement in the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing: A discussion paperThis new publication from the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing Secretariat offers a working definition of voice and meaningful engagement as well as a list of suggested opportunities to integrate the approach in all of our work during this Decade.Designed as a ‘starting point’, the paper draws on extensive stakeholder consultations but makes clear that voice and meaningful engagement is also a process of continuous improvement and iteration.
- Participatory video for meaningful engagement of older people: a toolkitThis toolkit provides practical step-by-step guidance on how to implement one innovative method for meaningful engagement of older people: participatory video (PV).The UN Decade of Healthy Ageing Secretariat piloted this method from 2020 to 2022, and this publication contains all of our reflections and learnings from the process. Watch three films made by older people from Canada, Jordan, and Togo through a process of participatory video here.
- Case studies on meaningful engagementMeaningful engagement is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, and takes different forms in diverse settings. To help illustrate this diversity, we worked together with HelpAge International to put together a series of practical case studies that can serve as useful exemplars.Explore the case studies on the UN Decade Platform’s VOICE hub.