According to the Message from the UN Secretary General on the World Aging Day (October 1, 2011), year 2011 marked the passage of 20 years since the adoption of the United Nations Principles for Older Persons. The basic principles are independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment and dignity, which enshrine the human rights of older persons and set the objectives for which the world should strive for. By the end of the twentieth century, ''with more than six billion people alive, life expectancy reached nearly sixty-seven years amidst a continuing rise.''

The term aging has become synonymous with traumatic neglect and loneliness. Across the globe old people face various human right challenges. Many face income insecurity, discrimination and abuse. They are denied a role in decision making even in matters relating to their health, property, legal capacity or daily care. These situations point to a broad range of civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights. Social security is an essential requirement during old age and is also acknowledged as one of the main 'contingencies' in development planning 


Globally, the number of older persons is expected to more than double from 841 million people in 2013 to more than 2 billion in 2050.India has the second largest number of elderly persons after China. As of 2011 Census reports, South India has the highest number of elderly persons above 60 years and will maintain its lead in the next 40 years. The highest proportion of elderly people is found in Kerala and greater number of elderly women than elderly men.