New comic champions the rights of older people
Published on 10 December 2021
A University of Dundee expert is attempting to safeguard the rights of older people in the Americas with a new comic.
Mayra Crowe, a Senior Lecturer in Spanish within the University’s School of Humanities, has worked with academics from Uruguay to produce The Convention on Older Person´s Rights: A Graphic Guide.
Launched today to coincide with the United Nations’ Human Rights Day, the publication has been produced in both English and Spanish to highlight the Inter-American Convention of Protecting the Human Rights of Older Persons, produced in 2015 by the Organisation of American States (OAS).
However, with just eight of the organisation’s 35 member states adopting the convention, Mayra hopes that the new comic will encourage more governments to bring the document into law.
“Traditionally, the population of the Americas has been younger, but this is changing,” said Mayra.
“That means that there is a greater need than ever to ensure that the voice of older people across the continents is heard.
“While the establishment of the Convention was a significant step, it is only ratified in eight countries. In order to encourage the implementation of this invaluable legal instrument, we wanted to produce an accessible but concise way of introducing its benefits to readers.
“It is important to emphasise that older persons are subjects of the law, citizens with rights and able to make decisions about their lives with autonomy. We want this comic to empower readers and to remind them that they have a right to be heard, regardless of their age.”
The new title is a partnership between Mayra and colleagues at Uruguay’s Universidad de la República, following on from a previous collaboration that last year produced comics documenting the experiences of older people throughout the pandemic. The comic has been produced by the Dundee-based Scottish Centre for Comics Studies with renowned comic artist Monty Nero, whose previous work has included Marvel’s The Hulk and X-men series, among those involved.
“The pandemic has highlighted that inequality still exists, and that older people are regularly subjected to discrimination,” added Mayra.
“The reluctance by more nations to adopt the Convention appears to be due to political differences, but it is important to realise that inequality exists here as well. While this publication has been produced for the people of Central, North and South America, issues such as the right to protest, to a home, and to live autonomously, are equally relevant in Scotland and the rest of Europe.”
The Convention on Older Person´s Rights: A Graphic Guide is available to read online.
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