The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was first observed on June 15, 2012. The United Nations marked this day to shine light on physical, emotional and financial abuse that elders face. It also seeks to highlight the challenges and opportunities faced by the ageing population of the world.
The theme for the WEAAD 2017 is,“Understand and End Financial Abuse of Older People: A Human Rights Issue”.
This theme seeks to highlight the importance of financial exploitation of the older population. This is in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing.
“Older people have the right to a life of dignity in old age, free of all forms of abuse, including financial and material exploitation, which could lead to poverty, hunger, homelessness, compromised health and well-being, and even premature mortality.” – United Nations
The Department of Community Development and Religion of Papua New Guinea are the custodians of the elder persons under the newly created Office of the Elderly. The office encourages families and communities to recognise the problem that is elderly abuse, and to encourage them to be productive members of the community and country as a whole.
The Elderly Office has begun conducting awareness and surveys on the elderly population. In April of this year the first survey was conducted at Sabusa village in Central Province.
Secretary for Community Development and Religion, Anna Solomon in a press release stated that through surveys like this the department can be able to come up with policies that will protect the elder population.
“Let us work together to bring greater recognition of the treatment of older persons wherever they live and to highlight the need for appropriate actions,” stated Solomon.
The UN also observes the International Day of Older persons. Observed on October 1st every year, this day tends to recognise the contributions of older persons to the society.