A joint-workshop on working conditions in care – organised by UNI Europa, AGE Platform Europe, the European Commission and the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions – was held in light of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which will take place on 15th June. Titled ‘Working conditions in care: Implications for labour rights, quality of services and the dignity of older people’, the workshop aimed to arrive at a common agenda between different organisations seeking quality in care.
Fréderic Favraud, President of UNICARE Europa opened the workshop by stressing that the quality in care is intrinsically linked to good quality jobs, which give workers enough time to care for each individual and that they can earn a decent wage. He also emphasised that abuse occurs because of bad working conditions and that bad working conditions foster bad practices across the sector. Finally he argued that both care workers and old people require good social security systems to live and work in dignity.
Anne-Sophie Parent, the Secretary-General of AGE Platform Europe, followed in the same vein arguing that it is necessary to connect the two issues if change was going to be respected in practice. Johann Ten Geuzendam, an Advisor at the European Commission, laid out three key challenges: universal access to long-term elderly care, the long-term sustainability of the system, and the demographic challenges and lack of skilled staff. Anna Chabier from the Office of the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights and a representative of ENNHRI argued for a human rights-based approach.
Adrian Durtschi, the Director of UNICARE, stated the case for better staffing, better wages, less working hours and better quality and more emotional care. You can hear his speech at the UNI Europa page: http://www.uni-europa.org/2018/06/06/european-organisations-come-together-to-fight-for-better-working-conditions-and-dignity-in-care/