The Ministry of Labour and Social Security through the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) will host a webinar in observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Tuesday (June 15).
The international theme for the day is ‘Access to Justice’, which seeks to highlight the importance of fully addressing the needs of the elderly and also to empower senior citizens to seek justice when their rights have been infringed upon.
Jamaica will observe the day under the sub-theme, ‘Safeguarding Older Persons During COVID-19 and Beyond’.
Executive Director of the NCSC, Cassandra Morrison, told JIS News that the United Nations (UN)-designated Day, first launched in 2006, has the objective of providing communities, and senior citizens on a whole, with the opportunity to better understand the impact of elder abuse and neglect and to raise awareness about the cultural, economic, social and other issues that affect ageing.
She pointed out that the webinar will also be used to engage Jamaicans in discourse about the elderly and also to apprise the public about the rights of older persons, especially during the pandemic where the vulnerability of the senior citizen is most evident.
A panel of experts, led by Dr. Douladel Willie Tyndale from the Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre, will present on the topic ‘Elder Abuse: Rights Perspective’.
There will also be a presentation from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) on violence against older persons and financial fraud; the legal fraternity will speak on the topic ‘Elder Abuse: Legal Perspective’, and a psychologist will present on ‘Effective Coping Strategies for Older Persons’.
Mrs. Morrison said that the World Health Organization (WHO) is reporting that violence, abuse and neglect of older persons are among the most hidden and underreported violations of human rights.
“Here in Jamaica we are seeing an increase in the reporting of elder abuse and neglect,” she noted.
Mrs. Morrison is encouraging Jamaicans to report more cases of elder abuse, as it is a crime that is underreported, while adding that the NCSC wants to provide the public with the necessary information about where to report incidents.
The two-hour webinar, which is scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m., will be
live streamed on the Ministry’s website and the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Facebook and YouTube pages.