Rights of the elderly

The duty of the Ombudsman is to monitor that all authorities and private bodies who have undertaken public duties (such as private companies offering services for the elderly as outsourced municipal services) comply with the law and fulfil their responsibilities. In the course of his duties, the Ombudsman monitors the implementation of all fundamental and human rights.

Duty to promote the rights of the elderly

Safeguarding the rights of the elderly is a part of the overall protection, monitoring and promotion of fundamental and human rights. The goal is to respect the fundamental and human rights of the elderly and their human dignity throughout their lives.

The Human Rights Centre operates in connection with the Office of the Ombudsman; it complements and supports the activities of the Ombudsman by promoting the information, education, training and research associated with fundamental and human rights and drawing up reports, initiatives and statements in order to promote fundamental and human rights and ensure their implementation.

Special tasks of the Ombudsman and the Human Rights Centre

The Ombudsman and the Human Rights Centre have special tasks based on international conventions that support the monitoring of the rights of the elderly. For example, the Ombudsman also monitors the living conditions and treatment of elderly persons with memory disorders as the National Preventive Mechanism in accordance with the UN Convention. 

The joint duty of the Ombudsman and the Human Rights Centre is to protect, promote and monitor the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities guaranteed by the UN Convention in Finland. Elderly persons with memory disorders, for instance, are within the scope of this convention.

The duties in accordance with the conventions include international cooperation, training and exchange of information that supports the activities of the Ombudsman and the Human Rights Centre in monitoring the rights of the elderly.

Year 2019

Previously, the Ombudsman had one permanent principal referendary for monitoring the rights of the elderly. The Parliament has granted EUR 250 000 in the budget appropriation of the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman for 2019 for monitoring and promoting the implementation of the rights of the elderly. With this appropriation, one referendary for the Ombudsman and one expert for the Human Rights Centre have been hired until the end of 2019. The additional appropriation is also used for the fees of external experts, inspection tours, reports, education and information.

An additional appropriation of EUR 350 000 was granted in the supplementary budget for enhancing the Ombudsman’s enforcement of the rights of the elderly significantly. With this additional appropriation, two additional posts can be allocated to overseeing the legality of issues related to the rights of the elderly in addition to one post of an information officer for promoting the rights of the elderly.

Press release, 30 January 2019
Inspections of the National Preventive Mechanism at units for the elderly (in Finnish)
Section on the rights of the elderly in 2017 (in Finnish)