39th SESSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL General Debate Item-9 – Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action Remarks by OIC 25 September 2018
I am making these comments on behalf of OIC Member States. The Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “He isn’t one of us who isn’t kind to our youngsters, and shows no respect to our elders…” The traditional family, which is the core unit of our social fabric, establishes two primary responsibilities.First is the upbringing of the youth and second is care giving to the elderly .For the OIC member-states,
ensuring the rights of elders is a fundamental duty. We do not classify them as older persons butas parents and grandparents. The
Holy Quran(17:23-24) says:
“Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to your parents. If one of them reaches old age with you, do not say to them a word of disrespect, or scold them, but say a generous word to them. And act humbly to them in mercy and say, “My Lord, have mercy on them, like they cared for me when I was small”.” Caring for older persons is not only a matter of duty but also a privilege. With such a comprehensive social plan ensuring the rights of older persons, OIC is pleased to note the suggestion of the Special Rapporteur that the older persons can be integrated with dignity and respect in every society.
This can be achieved through their involvement in collection of traditional knowledge as bearers of ancestral local knowledge that needs to be transferred to younger generations. Such knowledge includes traditional medicine, agricultural techniques, history, food, customs and legends, music and instruments. The OIC agrees that mechanisms such as institutionalizing older persons or putting them under conditions, which inflict emotional, physical and mental distress must be seen as a gross violation of fundamental human rights. We would like to indulge the Special Rapporteur on how best to promote the values that foster a culture of respect and responsibilities towards the older persons with current life styles and can the role of a traditional family be strengthened to protect and promote their rights?
I thank you.