Friday, June 21, 2013

Promoting Awareness and Prevention of Elder Abuse

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged governments, civil society, and communities to re-examine their attitudes towards ageing and ensure older persons are protected from all forms of abuse. "Around the world, older persons are tragically subject to psychological, financial or physical abuse," Mr. Ban said in his message marking World Elder Abuse Awareness Day earlier this week. "Unfortunately, too many older persons can be at risk," he said. "Prejudicial attitudes contribute to the problem.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between four and six per cent of older persons worldwide have suffered from some form of elder abuse. Research also suggests that abuse, neglect and violence against older persons, both at home and in institutions, are much more prevalent than currently acknowledged.

Mr. Ban emphasized that governments in particular, can help by enacting legislation to protect the abused and prosecute the abuser. "We owe it to older persons and societies at large to fight ageism in all its forms and enhance the dignity and human rights of older persons everywhere," he added.

(mew) (adapted from a UN Press Release)

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