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Centre for Human Rights (UZHR)

Human Rights of Elderly People

Continuing advances in medical science have significantly increased human life expectancy in the recent past, causing a demographic change in society (ageing society). This development has not only various economic (e.g. social insurances) and medical (diseases of aging) implications, but similarly raises the central human rights question what the most favourable conditions are for elderly people for ageing well and with dignity.

Although Art. 8 Para. 2 of the Swiss Federal Constitution prohibits age based discrimination, there is a lack of legal tools - also compared to other forms of discrimination such as gender based discrimination - to enforce this provision in an efficient manner. Also, at an international level there is no comprehensive convention for the protection of elderly people comparable to those for the rights of the child or the elimination of discrimination against women.

In its research the UZHR therefore does not focus on questions relating to the end of life and dying, but rather on contributing to shaping positive living conditions for older people. 

Activities of the UZHR

In general:


Within the SCHR main research area "vulnerability and ageing", our centre, together with the thematic cluster institutional issues (University of Fribourg), has addressed the human rights situation of elderly people in two separate subprojects. publications


Weiterführende Informationen

Elderly People

Photo: mohamed hassan, pixabay