United Nations independent expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons Claudia Mahler on Monday began her 11-day visit to Bangladesh focusing on older persons' rights in specific contexts, including emergency situations related to climate change and forced displacement.
Mahler is visiting Bangladesh (from 7 to 17 November) at the invitation of the government of Bangladesh and will hold discussions in Dhaka, Rangpur, and Chattogram with government representatives, UN presences, civil society organisations working with older persons, academics and older persons.
"Ageing population in Bangladesh is fast growing, becoming one of the emerging issues that has been gradually increasing challenges on health services, family relationships and social security," she said on Monday.
Mahler will present a full report of her visit to the Human Rights Council in September 2023, according to her office.
As of 2019, more than 13 million people living in Bangladesh were aged over 60, representing 8% of the country's total population.
"The 2013 National Policy on Older Persons and the Maintenance of Parents' Act resulted from this fast-growing age group. I look forward to learning more about the implementation of the policy and the law," she said.
The independent expert will assess areas of concern such as social security and protection, age discrimination and ageism, abuse and violence against older persons, their living conditions, including housing arrangements and access to adequate health services, and their meaningful participation in the labour force and in public and political space.
The expert will hold a press conference at the end of her visit on 17 November to share her preliminary observations.
Mahler (Austria) was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons in May 2020.