Action demanded to end killings, torture of older persons.

GEORGE OKORE By GEORGE OKORE, 22nd Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Elderly Relatives

The Aged worldwide face unique manifestations of based upon history, culture, economic strength and societal perception of the elderly

Action demanded to end killings, torture of older persons.

Kenya government has been urged to halt end killings and torture of older persons to elder abuse as enshrined in the new United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of older people.
The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was celebrated worldwide on June 15 against the background of increasing report of abuses of older persons. Kenyan Kenyan Minister for Labour and Social Service Rachael Omamo said since the 2006 UN resolution said the elder worldwide face increasing challenges and hailed the day as milestone in raising awareness of elder abuse and highlight ways to challenge such abuse.
The minister said the Aged worldwide face unique manifestations of based upon history, culture, economic strength and societal perception of the elderly. She said the Kenyan government has formed a stakeholder consulate forum to raise awareness among Kenyan population.
“The Kenyan government has initiated instruments to address Elder abuse and cub the vice. We also purpose to establish multi-stakeholder committee to champion and coordinate prevention of Elder abuse. This includes budgetary allocations to Elder people’s abuse prevention initiative,” she said at the celebrations.
World Health Organisation (WHO) defines elders’ abuse as single or repeated or failure to take appropriate action to prevent harm or distress to elder persons. In Kenya and many African countries, elder people are vulnerable to physical, psychological and financial abuse. Older women are at particularly risk due to widespread discriminatory attitudes and cultural practises.
In a report, WHO reveals that of the 133 countries surveyed, two thirds do not have adult protective services in place to support older people subjected to elder abuse, despite growing global population of older people. The number of older people vulnerable to elder abuse is predicted to rise with a growing global population of older people. Currently, there are more than 895 million people aged 60 and over, representing 12% of the global population. By 2030, this is projected to rise to 1.3 billion or 16%.
According to Dr Prafulla Mishra, HelpAge International Regional Director, East, West and Central Africa in Nairobi said reports from around the region show the extent to which older persons are being abused. “In Kilifi County, for example, the County Government and the Kenya Police released a report in June of 104 older persons killed on suspicion of witchcraft”, says Dr Prafulla.
She decries rampant discrimination and violence against older people, especially in East Africa where there are a significant number of cases of elder abuse. Nzingo, 67, from Kenya has suffered from elder abuse at the hands of a relative, which also resulted in the death of her 90-year-old mother. “The man slashed me on my head and I immediately fainted. I used the money I had saved from my business to pay for my hospital bills. I still don’t know what the cause was or reason for that kind of brutality,” said Nzingo, whose attacker was arrested but later released on bail.
Bomet Senator Wilfred Rotich Lesan says elder abuse is serious issue and direct violation of their rights. He says governments should legislations and policies towards elderly protection adding that typical abusers are people who have been trusted to take care of these individuals as caregivers, employers or employees.
“All member of the society have responsibility to be aware and prevent abuse of elder person, says Jane Gaturu of Thogoto Home for the Elderly who adds that the number of the older persons being deserted, neglected and dumped by the way side by relatives is on the rise. Yet, she adds, institutions meant to carter for such cases are few and or underfunded. “Older people repeatedly say that they are considered useless, incompetent and a drain on resources by their families and by society, as well as being subjected to abuse,” said Bridget Sleap, Senior Rights Policy Adviser at HelpAge International.
Internationally, older people say that they are being subjected to abuse and discrimination because of their age, according to a report by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP). The report titled In Our Own Words is based on consultations with older people across 50 countries who were asked how they feel they are discriminated against in older age. “Not enough is being done to stop this abuse and protect the rights of older people,” said Sleap, who wrote the GAROP report on behalf of the alliance.


Elderly, Famiy, Kenya, Old Age

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author avatar GEORGE OKORE
George Okore is an international media consultant, resource person/facilitator, projects/programs manager, community leader, negotiator, advocate and author/writer/columnist based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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author avatar Retired
22nd Jun 2015 (#)

Nice post.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
24th Jun 2015 (#)

This is a universal problem.

Earlier the elderly got respect due to age, but no more. Now many feel it is better to stay separately and stay in touch than under the same roof as strangers and, even worse, being regularly abused.

But many cannot afford to stay away and hence governments should step in with more aged homes for the destitute - siva

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
30th Jun 2015 (#)

A fine piece on a very relevant and important topic. The elders should take precautions from a young age to prevent this abuse. They should remain economically independent untill the last day of their life. They should not gift away their assets to their children and other institutions to the point of rendering them economically dependent on others. No matter what one does to his children when they are young, he should not expect anything in return. if he gets their love and care, it's a bonus.

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