Government of the Republic of Mauritius

06/12/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/12/2019 05:38

Intergenerational Programme to raise awareness on elder abuse

GIS - 12 June, 2019: An intergenerational programme on the theme 'Access to Justice: Legal, Social and Economic Services for Older Victims of Sexual, Physical and Financial Crimes' was organised this morning at Sir Abdool Razack Mohamed State Secondary School by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development (Social Security and National Solidarity Division) in the context of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2019 (WEAAD).

The aim of this programme is to strengthen the bond between the generations and raise awareness on ill-treatment of elderly persons which comes in different forms, namely: exploitation; abandonment by family members; sexual and physical violence; financial fraud; scams; thefts; inadequate care or neglect in nursing homes or at home; and discrimination of all kinds.

Addressing the audience on behalf of the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Shakuntala Devi Gujadhur-Nowbuth, recalled that the chosen theme underscores the importance of engaging into actions against elder abuse and provides an opportunity for communities to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

She outlined that older women are especially vulnerable to abuse and violence because of discriminatory societal attitudes and non-realisation of human rights, exacerbated by poverty and lack of access to legal protection. Hence, Government aims at ensuring maximum protection and facilities to the elderly through various services, including income security, psycho-social support, health facilities and protection, so as to enable them to lead an active life in full enjoyment of their rights, she added.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary appealed to administrators and managers of educational institutions to engage the youth in intergenerational contact through social gatherings and regular visits to charitable institutions. These interactions, she said, will help dispel negative and inaccurate stereotypes thus leading to an interchange of culture, technology, history, traditions, values and customs, as well as providing a sense of identity and understanding.

She urged the youth to make use of new technologies in order to protect older persons from abuse and called upon them to educate them about their rights; teach them how to identify and prevent financial fraud and scams; and direct them to available services.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

WEAAD was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. In addition, WEAAD is in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. It serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organisations, and communities to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

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