On 15 March 2022, AGE Platform Europe published an update on its website, concerning the impact of the war in Ukraine, on older people. Ukraine is among the fastest ageing countries in the world, with 7 million people aged 65 or older living in the country (2019 UN statistic). They represent 16.7% of the total population and their number was expected to reach 20% by 2030. These more than 7 million older people are currently at risk as a result of the Russian invasion. Whether they decide to stay in Ukraine or to leave the country, they deserve equal access to humanitarian aid, AGE Platform stresses.
The update highlights the plight of older people in conflicts and describes the current emergency response efforts being made. International law exists, it points out, to protect civilians in time of war and it should and must apply equally to older people. Specific protections and direct engagement with organisations of older people may be necessary to increase the visibility of and address the specific needs of this population, AGE Platform suggests.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN Independent Expert on the Rights of Older Persons have emphasised the need to ensure accountability for any violations of the rights of older persons and those with disabilities in the conflict. They encourage civil society, the UN and other agencies, to actively monitor, record and report the situation on the ground. The full update of 15 March, on the situation of older people in the Ukraine, can be read, here: