- Community and Culture
- Published Date
- Clemencia Jacobs
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Recently more than 300 elders from across the country gathered in Keetmanshoop for a 3-day congress aimed at sensitising the public on issues regarding the rights of elderly people.
Many elderly people are abused by their families and are often neglected and some are even left to raise children on their meagre monthly pension. This prompted the Namibia Senior Citizens Movement to create a platform where elder people can discuss challenges and find a common solution
The three day conference held at the beginning of July was attended by senior citizen movements from Arandis, Outjo, Grootfontein, Tses, Keetmanshoop, Kamanjab, Mariental, and Karibib amongst others.
Benjamin Jagger, national coordinator of the Namibia Senior Citizens Movement, said elderly people are being “treated like dogs.”and that they should be in a position to enjoy their rights. “All people need love and when you become older, you need it more. We can no longer turn a blind eye; elder people are abused emotionally, their pension money is stolen and they are being killed on farms,” he said at the conference.
The Namibia Senior Citizen Movement was established in 1987 in Rehoboth and has branches in 35 towns. It first held its national congress in September 2011 and was previously known as the /Khodare Senior Citizen Movement. It is an initiative by Jagger to raise awareness on the plight of the elderly citizens of Namibia.
Worldwide, elderly people are increasingly subjected to physical and emotional abuse, theft and discrimination. The rights of the elderly are enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted in 1948, and which Namibia is signatory to. The International Day of Older Persons is celebrated on 1 October, annually.
“We need to implement these rights because elderly people are not enjoying their rights currently. They really must start to enjoy their rights,” Jagger concluded.
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