Header image for news printout

Singapore: UN expert to assess human rights situation of older persons

GENEVA (19 September 2016) – United Nations human rights expert Rosa Kornfeld-Matte will carry out her first official visit to Singapore from 21 to 29 September 2016 to assess the human rights situation of older persons in the country.

“Given the magnitude of the demographic transformation under way worldwide, we need to rethink our responses to addressing the challenges faced by ageing societies,” said 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.

“With one of the fastest ageing societies in the world, Singapore has been investing in technology to help care for the elderly,” Ms. Kornfeld-Matte said. “I am keen to learn more about the country’s drivers of innovation, to collect valuable examples to be shared with others.”

The information-gathering mission, she noted, “will be an opportunity to identify best practices and gaps in the implementation of existing laws related to the promotion and protection of the rights of older persons in the country.”

Ms. Kornfeld-Matte, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Government, will 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 at the conclusion of the expert’s visit, on Thursday, 29 September 2016 at 4 p.m. at the Raffles Hotel Singapore (Jubilee Lounge, Level 3 – North Bridge Rd Entrance), to share preliminary findings with the media. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

The Independent Expert is scheduled to present her findings and recommendations of her country visit in a report to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2017.

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 Independent Experts 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 – Singapore: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/SGIndex.aspx

For further information and media requests, please contact Mr. Khaled Hassine (+41 22 917 93 67, during the visit +41 79 752 0486 / khassine@ohchr.org) or write to olderpersons@ohchr.org 

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

For your news websites and social media: Multimedia content & key messages relating to our news releases are available on UN Human Rights social media channels, listed below. Please tag us using the proper handles:
Twitter: @UNHumanRights
Facebook: unitednationshumanrights
Instagram: unitednationshumanrights
Google+: unitednationshumanrights
Youtube: unohchr