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Aruba, July 18, 2012 - Between 4 and 6 per cent of the elderly worldwide suffer from a form of abuse, physically, emotionally and financially, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

A statement from the UN said such abuse was an unacceptable attack on human dignity and human rights and some of the cases often remained unreported and unaddressed. It says emerging research suggested that abuse, neglect and violence against the elderly both at home and in institutions, were much more prevalent than currently acknowledged.

Alarmed at this widening problem, the Assembly has proclaimed World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, to be observed annually on June 15. It said respect for the elderly was an integral part of many societies as people lived longer and strive for sustainable and inclusive development, it was time to revive and expand the appreciation for those who had advanced in age.

“A modern civilization can only live up to that name if it preserves the tradition of honoring, respecting and protecting society’s elders,” the statement read. According to the statement, the UN body called on governments and stakeholders to design and undertake more effective prevention strategies and stronger laws and policies to address all aspects of elderly abuse.

“Let us work together to optimize living conditions for the elderly and enable them to make the greatest possible contribution to the world,” the statement added.

The proportion of the elderly population (60+years) in Rwandawas expected to remain unchanged (at about 4%) in the 2002-2012 period, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Source The New Times

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