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Together we can end elder abuse

20 Jun 2016

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was marked on 15 June and the slogan "together we can end elder abuse" was used by campaigners in Tanzania. A fitting slogan given that around the world older people campaigned together to raise awareness about elder abuse - a deep-rooted problem that often remains invisible.

Age Demands Action (ADA) is a platform for older people around the world to take action on issues important to them. Last Wednesday, ADA campaigners in 34 countries across the world called for their governments to do more to tackle the issue and ensure their right to live free from violence and abuse is recognised.

Elder abuse continues to be a global trend and less than one-third of governments worldwide have implemented any sort of strategy to combat it. This is why World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an important moment for older campaigners, providing them an opportunity to highlight the different types of abuse people face in older age and the inadequate response by some governments to respond to it.

ADA campaign highlights

In Kyrgyzstan ADA campaigners organised an event with the theme "let's give elders more love, attention and care" and talked with younger generations about older people's rights. 

ADA for Rights Kyrgyzstan

In Vietnam campaigners took part in a photo action calling to stop elder abuse. 

Photo action in Vietnam from our partner VAE

In Malawi older people used the slogan "one person, one action" to highlight that everyone can take action against elder abuse. 

ADA campaigners marching in Malawi

Tutu joins the campaign

Archbishop Desmond Tutu also joined the campaign in a video message calling for the need to end elder abuse. Tutu is right when he says "oldies demand dignity"!

Tackling elder abuse in Tanzania

Across the world one of the biggest obstacles older people face is their lack of knowledge about their rights. We are working with partners in Tanzania to support older women through paralegal training which is helping to protect them from exploitation

You can read more about how end of life planning is helping to protect their rights in our beautiful photo blog.

Mwajuma and Tereza in Tanzania have learned about their rights (c) Clemence Eliah/HelpAge International 

"I have lived my whole life not knowing human rights existed"

On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day we shared Christina's story from Tanzania. She tells the story of how her land was taken from her, a common case for many older men and women in Tanzania. She explains how learning about her rights and writing her will has helped protect her assets. Read her story published on the Huffington Post

Let's keep campaigning to end elder abuse

Year on year older men and women prove that their voices must be heard and their rights acknowledged. Read more about the Age Demands Action platform and email us at campaigns@helpage.org.

Your comments

Jim Leary

I am currently in Barbados with my wife to help and support for her near eighty year old mother. Although we were aware that she was being neglected and amused by members of my wife's family,?it took a worker from the National Assistance Board to actually say that this was a worse case of abuse than one which recently hit the local headlines for us to fully accept the level of abuse. We were shocked when we visited Barbados in April 2015. We came back in June 2015 and again in October. Despite coming back at the end of June, our fourth visit in 15 months, things are worse and my wife's brothers seem to be even more emboldened. We will see if Mums pension money appears this weekend or whether they are now so brazen they will expect us to spend our hard earned money whilst they steal their own mothers small hard earned pension! Watch this space!!

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Author profile

Jemma Stovell
Country: Australia
Job title: Campaigns Officer

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.