The United Nations(UN)’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is annually observed across the globe on 15th June to create awareness about the abuse and neglect of older persons.
- The day also highlights the cultural, social, economic, and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.
The theme of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2023 observed on 15th June 2023 is “Closing the Circle: Addressing Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Older Age Policy, Law and Evidence-based Responses”.
i.The observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15th June was initiated by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse(INPEA) in 2006.
ii.In December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/66/127 and proclaimed the 15th June of every year as the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
iii.The first-ever UN’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was observed on 15th June 2012.
Abuse of Older people:
The abuse of older people, also known as elder abuse, is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.
i.It is estimated that the global population of people aged 60 and above will increase from 900 million in 2015 to about 2 billion in 2050.
ii.Globally, around 1 n 5 people aged 60 years or above experience some form of abuse in the community setting.
iii.The rates of abuse are high in institutions like nursing homes and long term care facilities.
Efforts of WHO:
In 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the report titled “Tackling abuse of older people: five priorities for the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021–2030)” which highlighted the key priorities to prevent and respond to abuse of older persons.
- The report was published in partnership with Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UN WOMEN and with support from INPEA.
The 5 priorites were,
- Fight against ageism, a major reason why the abuse of older people receives so little attention.
- Generate better data to raise awareness about abuse of older people.
- Develop and scale up cost–effective solutions to stop abuse of older people.
- Make an investment case focusing on how to address the problem is money well spent.
- Raise funds as more resources are needed to tackle the problem.
UN Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030)
In December 2020, the UNGA adopted the resolution A/RES/75/131 and proclaimed the 2021–2030 the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing.