Background and Objectives: Over the last 2 decades, several international indices have been developed to describe the status of older persons. None, however, have examined their human rights. The International Older Persons’ Human Rights Index (IOPHRI) fills in this gap by analyzing the formal legislative foundation of human rights for older people. The objective of this exploratory study is to examine the IOPHRI while comparing the legislation in 6 countries. Research Design and Methods: A comparative international exploratory study comparing the human rights legislation of 6 countries: United States, Chile, Ireland, South Africa, India, and Australia in 5 different human rights domains: constitutional, protection, familial and informal support, planning, and empowerment. Results: The findings suggest that the actual relationship between formal human rights of older persons and the real world is complex: for example, while the IOPHRI index places South Africa in first place, it is far behind compared with all other participants in the Global AgeWatch Index (which measures objective elements such as life expectancy at 60, or poverty rates in old age). Discussion and Implications: Measuring and indexing human rights of older persons reveal significant methodological issues. Beyond these methodological challenges, comparing the ranking of the IOPHRI to nonlegalistic indices raises significant questions about the relationship between formal human rights and the actual living experiences of older persons.
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- Comparative study
- Human rights
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology