The program included a discussion on next steps for the Chicago Declaration on the Rights of Older Persons. The Chicago Declaration is proposed legislation presented before the U.N. that aims to provide legal protections to older persons under international human rights law. It is a product of scholars, advocates and policymakers from more than a dozen countries, including the panelists from the event.
A delegation from John Marshall presented the Chicago Declaration before the U.N. on Aug. 1, , as part of the U.N.’s Fifth Session of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing. Chicago’s top policymakers have urged the U.N. to use the Chicago Declaration as a springboard to create an international convention on older persons’ rights. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago City Council and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) all have endorsed the Chicago Declaration.
The Oct. 1 event, “U.N. International Day of Older Persons: Forum on the Chicago Declaration on the Rights of Older Persons, Moving Forward,” focused on the process and highlights of creating the Chicago Declaration, as well as a follow up to the U.N. side-event. Panelists included Sarah Dávila-Ruhaak, director of John Marshall’s International Human Rights Clinic, as well as Bethany Barratt, associate professor and director of the Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project at Roosevelt University.