June 3, 2020

The Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne
Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Honourable Deb Schulte
Minister of Seniors
Parliament of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario Canada
K1A 0A6

Dear Ministers Champagne and Schulte,

By way of introduction, Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights (CLAIHR) is a non-governmental charitable organization comprised of lawyers, law students and legal academics, among others, working to promote international human rights within and in connection to Canada.

We are writing today to endorse the attached letter sent to you from International Longevity Centre Canada (ILC Canada) on April 17, 2020. We support ILC Canada in demanding the Canadian Government take immediate steps towards leading and supporting a United Nations Convention on the Rights of Older Persons.

Older persons, in Canada and abroad, suffer egregious human rights violations, which are being magnified by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Age-based discrimination strips older people of their fundamental human rights by limiting access to employment opportunities and health care. It also allows individuals and institutions to inflict rampant abuse upon older persons. Older people that face additional marginalization for their race, gender, sexuality, or nationality are especially vulnerable.

A UN Convention will bring international attention to the global mistreatment of older persons. It will strengthen existing laws by making the rights of older persons explicit and will encourage governments to develop additional protections and allocate more resources to programming for older persons. Most importantly, a UN Convention will give older persons a redress mechanism that can hold Member States accountable to the international community.  

CLAIHR joins ILC Canada in awaiting your response. 


Heather Cohen
Director, CLAIHR