June 15 is marked as World Elder Abuse Awareness. The UN General Assembly officially recognized this day and the same in its resolution 66/127 in December 2011. This day brings forth the need to voice opposition against the abuse and suffering inflicted upon the older generation.

The problem of elder abuse was not given due recognition in various nations and was considered to be a private matter, and till date, the gravity of this issue is not taken into consideration. However, elder abuse is a major societal problem, and there is a need to raise awareness pertaining to the same and raise a voice against such abuse. 

In many parts of the world, elder abuse occurs with little recognition or response. Until recently, this serious social problem was hidden from the public view and considered mostly a private matter. Even today, elder abuse continues to be a taboo, mostly underestimated and ignored by societies across the world. However, evidence is accumulating to indicate that elder abuse is an essential public health and societal problem.

Elder abuse is a problem that exists in both developing and developed countries yet is typically under-reported globally. Prevalence rates or estimates exist only in selected developed countries — ranging from 1% to 10%. Although the extent of elder mistreatment is unknown, its social and moral significance is obvious. It demands a multifaceted global response, one which focuses on protecting the rights of older persons.

From a health and social perspective, unless both primary health care and social service sectors are well equipped to identify and deal with the problem, elder abuse will continue to be underdiagnosed and overlooked.

2021 Theme- Access to Justice

This year’s World Elder Abuse Day theme serves as a reminder of the importance of addressing the needs of older persons who seek recourse. There are numerous challenges that older people who have experienced violence, abuse, or neglect face accessing judicial remedies. A few of such challenges are lack of affordability, delays, lack of awareness of the judicial remedies available, discrimination, etc. This year these challenges will be addressed, and measures will be discussed to protect older people against violence, abuse, or neglect.

For more information click here and here.

Mahak Rathee

Global Representative (India) 

Roya Institute of Global Justice