Posted on September 18, 2015

Qatar attaches great importance to the elderly as its Constitution guarantees that their rights are well-protected, said The Peninsula. It has also issued legislation to ensure their legal, social security, housing, employment and health care protection. This came during a speech delivered by Noor Ibrahim Al Sada, Second Secretary at Qatar’s  Permanent Mission to the UN, during an interactive dialogue on the rights of older persons. 

Al Sada said the family remained the natural environment where older persons would be able to enjoy their rights. A rights-based approach should underpin care for the elderly so that they could live independently and actively participate in social life, she added. Al Sada said Qatar adopted policies and programmes to enable the elderly to live with dignity and independence, including the population policy issued in 2009 to enable them to actively participate in social and public life; the National Development Strategy (2011, 2016); and the social protection strategy that includes a plan to review the pension system and support for households supported by the elderly.

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She also highlighted institutions and committees formed by Qatar to promote and protect the rights of the elderly, the most important being Qatar Foundation for Elderly People Care dedicated to improving their lives and status. The foundation aims to house the elderly with the provision of health and social care and reintegration into society. Al Sada hailed efforts of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs which has set up a department for the elderly and persons with disabilities to develop and implement programmes and services for them.

She also underscored Qatar’s role in the field of international cooperation with regard to the human rights of the elderly and said Qatar participates regularly in meetings of GCC committee for elderly care organised by the GCC Executive Office. Last February, she said, Doha received international dementia experts to attend World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), participated in meetings of the first WHO Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia in Geneva in March, and supported the initiative, which aimed to raise awareness and mobilise support for global action against dementia.

Al Sada thanked Independent Expert on the rights of older persons Rosa Kornfeld-Matte for her efforts to carry out its mandate and report presented to the session.