International & National Principles, Rights and Responsibilities
of Older Persons
National Statements - A Charter of Rights and Freedoms
of Older People in Belgiuma
This Charter was developed by a "university of the third
age" - the "Université des Aînés"
in Louvain, Belgium - in consultation with both young and old
and many groups concerned with aging. For further information,
President, Université des Aînés
Place Montesquieu, 1, bte 1
Considering the constant increase in the number and proportion
of older people in our communities,
Considering the unprecedented and irreversible phenomenon of
increased life expectancy,
Considering that the older members of the population are progressively
healthier due to improved living conditions,
Considering that the number of frail and dependent old people
is a new challenge to our communities,
Considering that our older people are not only the guardians
of our collective memory but also the creators of a new culture,
a new economy and then a new interdependent community,
WE PROCLAIM THE CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF OLDER PEOPLE
This Charter is an ideal to be attained progressively, respecting
the rights and freedoms of every human being, regardless of age.
Article 1: Concerning personal dignity
Every citizen has a right to respect and dignity from a community
which accepts him and treats him well. All age discrimination
should be banned.
Article 2: Concerning freedom of life style
Every old person should be allowed to choose freely his way of
life and his housing according to his needs, regardless of the
state of his health. He should be allowed to practice the religion
of his choice.
Article 3: Concerning safety rights
Every old person has the right to public and private safety.
Article 4: Concerning rights to a sound environment.
Every old person should be able to move freely and live in a
Article 5: Concerning rights of information
Every citizen, regardless of age, should be adequately informed
in order to prepare for and control his own aging process.
Article 6: Concerning the right to health
Every old person should have access to essential care and medical
services. Loss of autonomy should be prevented. Care and support
should be available for the dying.
Article 7: Concerning the right to a decent income
Every old person has the right to a decent income.
Article 8: Concerning the right to manage his own resources
Every old person should be free to manage his own resources and
maintain control over his inheritance.
Article 9: Concerning the right to active citizenship
Every old person should be allowed full exercise of his democratic
rights at any level.
Article 10: Concerning personal rights
Every old person, regardless of where he lives, should be represented
on all governing bodies.
Article 11: Concerning the right to education
Every old person should have access to cultural and educational
facilities at all levels. He should be able to continue learning
to develop personal and creative capacity.
Article 12: Concerning the right to career choice
Every old person should be allowed to choose freely the time
and conditions of his retirement.
Article 13: Concerning the right to social and cultural usefulness
Every old person should have the opportunity to take up a position
of value to the community. He should have access to cultural,
sporting and leisure facilities.