African campaigners call for protection of rights of senior citizens

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-25 22:26:29|Editor: xuxin
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NAIROBI, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- African governments should enhance protection of rights and privileges of the elderly population amid reports of abuse and discrimination, campaigners said on Monday.

The campaigners said in a statement released in Nairobi that promoting human rights and dignity of senior citizens is key to realizing cohesion, inclusive development and peace in Africa.

Emem Omokaro, co-chair of Stakeholders Group on Ageing (SGA) said that Africa's aging population deserves protection from all forms of abuse and social exclusion in order to realize sustainable development in the continent.

"Ageing is poised to become a major issue in Africa and it is essential for countries to promote human rights for this demographic in order to realize inclusive growth and cohesion," said Omokaro.

She said that political goodwill and robust citizens' engagement is required to advance the rights of Africa's aging population that are grappling with poverty, terminal illnesses, abuse and neglect.

African policymakers, campaigners and experts will converge in the capital of Nigeria, Abuja this week to discuss the progress the continent has made in enacting legislation that promotes the rights and welfare of the elderly population.

Statistics from the UN indicate that Africa was in 2017 home to about 69 million older persons that accounted for 7.1 percent of the global total.

Roseline Kihumba, the international and regional policies coordinator at HelpAge International, said that promoting fundamental human rights of the aging population will enhance their contribution to peace, development and stability in Africa.

She urged African countries to ratify global and continental treaties that advance the rights of senior citizens amid their exclusion linked to policy gaps and the breakdown of traditional family structures.