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The Center for Medicare Advocacy was pleased to have participated in the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day observance at the United Nations (UN) in New York. The theme for this year’s observance was “Moving from Awareness to Action through a Human Rights based approach. In attendance were NGOs, representatives from the UN Focal Point on Ageing, and international advocates for the human rights of older people.

The discussion focused on mobilizing stakeholders, challenging social norms, and preventing elder maltreatment through a human rights-based approach. Representatives from Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America shared innovations from their regions to improve the lives of their older citizens. An especially timely presentation focused on protections for older residents of nursing homes and long term care facilities. The Deputy Permanent Representative of the Mission of Argentina to the United Nations was on hand to speak about the need for increased advocacy within the UN for the rights of older people.      

Elder maltreatment is a global and growing human rights issue. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 6 people aged 60 and over experienced abuse, and only 1 in 24 cases of abuse ever gets reported. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights States that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Advocates must work with governments to ensure this remains true for all older people in our communities.

The Center for Medicare Advocacy is committed to ensuring that older people’s rights “to life, liberty and security of person” are realized by gaining access to health care and the ability to live in safety and dignity.  

June 21, 2018 – B. Belton

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