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UN expert to assess human rights situation of older persons in Austria

GENEVA (19 January 2015) – United Nations human rights expert Rosa Kornfeld-Matte will carry out her first official visit to Austria from 22 to 30 January 2015 to assess the human rights situation of older persons in the country.

Ms. Kornfeld-Matte is the first Independent Expert tasked by the UN Human Rights Council with monitoring, reporting and advising on the promotion and protection of the rights by older persons in the world.

“This visit will allow me to learn more about the policies adopted by the Austrian Government to ensure the active and effective participation of older persons in the fullest spectrum of social life in order to distil good practices,” she said, noting that Austria ranks second in the field of an enabling environment for older persons according to the independent Global AgeWatch Index.

“I am also interested to learn more about the challenges Austria faces and what measures are being put in place for older persons to enjoy the full spectrum of their rights, notably in the area of health and employment,” she added.

Ms. Kornfeld-Matte, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Government, will travel to Vienna and will visit Klagenfurt and Graz to hold discussions with government representatives, non-governmental organizations and others working with and on the issue of older persons.

A press conference will be held in Vienna at the conclusion of the expert’s visit, on Friday 30 January 2015 at 11h30 a.m. at the United Nations Office at Vienna, to share preliminary findings with the media.

The Independent Expert will present her findings and recommendations of her country visit in a comprehensive report to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2015.

Ms. Rosa Kornfeld-Matte (Chile) was appointed by Human Rights Council as the first Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons in May 2014. Ms. Kornfeld-Matte served as the National Director of the Chilean National Service of Ageing where she designed and implemented the National Policy of Ageing. She has a long career as an academic and is the founder of the programme for older persons at the Pontificia Unversidad Católica de Chile. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/OlderPersons/IE/Pages/IEOlderPersons.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Austria: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/ATIndex.aspx

For further information and media requests, please contact Mr. Khaled Hassine (+41 22 917 93 67, during the visit +41 79 201 01 25 / khassine@ohchr.org) or write to olderpersons@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts in Geneva:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en