LEGAL PROTECTION AGAINST ELDER ABUSE IN NEPAL: INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW PERSPECTIVE
Globally, the population above 65 is regarded as an elderly population. There is no specific UN Standard defining a particular age group as elderly population. The World Health Organization (WHO) regards the 60+ population as the elderly population of the world.In Nepal the person of 60 years and above is regarded as Senior Citizen. Throughout the globe, the total population of the elders (those at 60 years and above) is 617 million. It constitutes 8.5% of the total world population. In 2000, the population of the elderly was 600 million. The percent of elderly population is surely going to increase in the future owing to the contribution of science and technology in creating an increase in the life expectancy of the people worldwide. Globally, women outlive their male counter parts, so the number of the elderly women is more in comparison to men. For instance, in very old age the ratio of women to men is 2:1.
Elder abuse has become an issue of growing prominence with an increasing population of 65 years and over. There is an emerging consensus that elder abuse is a human rights issue. Large numbers of older persons face challenges such as discrimination, poverty and abuse that severely restrict their human rights and their contribution to society. The world has not been quick to respond: a lack of political will and the prioritization of the special rights of other disadvantaged groups have often been at the expense of the case for older people. Although concerns involving the ageing population are not new, they have traditionally been seen as problems requiring solutions that are functional, piecemeal and reactive.
Our country Nepal is not an exception. According to the National Population Census published by the Central Bureau of Statistics, the elderly population constitutes 8.13% of the total population of the country. The increasing trend of replacement of joint and extended families with nuclear families has resulted in conditions resulting to the abandonment of parents in their old age. As a result, elder abuse has become a normal every day phenomenon. It is not limited to the four corners of the house. Elderly people, especially women are sexually abused. The recent example of this is the gang rape of the 57 year old woman. There are also cases reported in the Court whereby the guardian of the elders has fraudulently transferred their property in their own name. These are only selected examples of elder abuse.
2. Definition of Elder Abuse
According to WHO, elder abuse is defined as, “elder abuse is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person. This type of violence constitutes a violation of human rights and includes physical, sexual, psychological, and emotional abuse; financial and material abuse; abandonment; neglect; and serious loss of dignity and respect.” According to the Center for Disease Control, “elder abuse is an intentional act or failure to act that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult.” According to JAMA Patient Page ,”elder abuse refers to the mistreatment of an older adult that threatens his or her health or safety.” Although the abuse may be caused by a person who is in a position of trust, such as a family member or paid assistant, it also may be self-inflicted. In cases of self-neglect, an older person is unable to provide for his or her own needs (including hygiene, food, and housing) because of emotional, cognitive, or physical impairments. Elder abuse may result in depression, broken bones, sores, bruises, and death. Because persons experiencing elder abuse are often unable to seek help, friends, family, neighbors, or physicians may be in the best position to recognize and respond to an abusive situation.
3. Types of Elder Abuse
Physical abuse such as infliction of pain or injurycan range from slapping or shoving to severe beatings and restraining with ropes or chains. When a caregiver or other person uses enough force to cause unnecessary pain or injury, even if the reason is to help the older person, the behavior can be regarded as abusive. Physical abuse can include hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, kicking, pinching, burning, or biting. It also includes the inappropriate use of medications and physical restraints and physical punishment of any kind.
Sexual abuse, including any nonconsensual sexual contact
Sexual abuse can range from sexual exhibition to rape. Sexual abuse can include inappropriate touching, photographing the person in suggestive poses, forcing the person to look at pornography, forcing sexual contact with a third party, or any unwanted sexualized behavior. It also includes rape, sodomy, or coerced nudity. Sexual abuse is perhaps the most egregious but least reported type of elder abuse.
Emotional abuse, such as yelling or verbal threats
Emotional abuse or psychological abuse includes emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, intimidation or coercion.
Caregiver neglect—refusal or failure to fulfill caregiver obligations to meet basic needs, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care
Caregiver neglect can range from caregiving strategies that withhold appropriate attention from the individual to intentionally failing to meet the physical, social, or emotional needs of the older person. Neglect can include failure to provide food, water, clothing, medications, and assistance with activities of daily living or help with personal hygiene. If the caregiver is responsible for paying bills for the older person, neglect can also include failure to pay the bills or to manage the older person’s money responsibly. Family caregivers may inadvertently neglect their older relatives because of their own lack of knowledge, resources, or maturity, although this is a less frequent form of abuse.
Sometimes older adults harm themselves through self-neglect (e.g., not eating, not going to the doctor for needed care), compulsive hoarding, or alcohol or drug abuse. It is also important to note that people who are physically capable and mentally competent may also neglect themselves. Understanding the consequences of their actions, they may make a conscious and voluntary decision to engage in acts that threaten their health and safety. Indications of self-neglect are similar to those of neglect by a caregiver. Individuals may be unkempt, have poor dental and personal hygiene, or appear malnourished and/or dehydrated. They may not be taking medications properly or might appear listless, confused, or depressed. Their living environment may be dirty, lacking in electricity or water, and unsafe. Frequently there is a need for an assessment to determine the competency of the individual and his/her ability to appropriately manage health and safety issues.
Financial exploitation, such as unauthorized or improper use of a person’s funds
Financial abuse and exploitation can range from misuse of an older person’s funds to embezzlement. Financial exploitation includes fraud, taking money under false pretenses, forgery, forced property transfers, purchasing expensive items with the older person’s money without that person’s knowledge or permission or denying the older person access to his or her own funds or home. It includes the improper use of legal guardianship arrangements, powers of attorney, or conservatorships. It also includes a variety of Internet, telephone, and face-to-face scams perpetrated by sales people or even by so-called friends for health-related services, home repair services, mortgage companies, and financial services.
Elder abuse is one of the several types of abuses in the society. As soon as we hear the word “elder abuse” we get the picture of a feeble senior citizen residing in an old age home. But, this is certainly not the case- elder abuse is a pervasive problem that has gone unnoticed in the Nepalese society. But, what needs our serious attention is that even in the old age homes there can be abuses against the elders by the caregivers. Moreover, it is not only the weaker senior citizen who is abused. Neither is there a single pattern of abuse that can be seen. Its forms are varied and so is the need for legal protection against elder abuse.
4. Legal Protection of Elder Abuse in International Law
There is no specific international law instrument addressing the issue of elder abuse. Therefore one has to take heed of the scattered provisions of international law for the analysis of the provisions guarantying protection against the elder abuse and its various types.
4.1 Binding International Instruments
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 (UDHR)
Though, initially was recognized as the “soft law”, UDHR at present enjoys the status of customary international law. It is therefore binding to all states of the world. Article 1 of the UDHR states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Article 2 of UDHR states, everyone is entitled to the rights set forth in the Declaration without discrimination. Article 3 of UDHR states that everyone has a right to the life, liberty and security of persons. Article 7 of the Declaration prohibits all types of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment against persons including torture. Article 7 of the Declaration also states all are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. Article 8 of the Declaration states, “everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.” Article 12 states that, “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.” Article 25 of the Declaration states, “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 (ICCPR)
The ICCPR does not explicitly use the word protection against elder abuse. But, a reference to various Articles enshrined in the Covenant can be made while discussing about the legal protection afforded by the Covenant to the people of the State Parties. The ICCPR has been accepted by the Human Rights Committee to protect the rights of the elderly. For example, specifically, Article 26 establishes the right to equal protection and has been found to afford the right to social security to the elderly. The case that established the precedent of applying Article 26 to obtain social security was Brooks v. Netherlands. In the case a woman was denied the social security provisions because she did not meet the criteria set by the Social Security Act of the country. The Committee found that where legislation is adopted to provide social security, “such legislation must comply with Article 26 of the Covenant. The Committee also extended the interpretation to any domestic legislation, holding that Article 26 bars discriminatory legislation. Although most of this case law deals with social security benefits, it nevertheless demonstrates how it may be possible to use other provisions, like the right to integrity, to acquire or establish the right of health.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966 (ICESCR)
The nature of human rights is such that they are inalienable, indivisible, inherent and universal. Though the twin Covenants of human rights, the ICCPR and the ICESCR both apply equally in case of the protection against the elder abuse, the same is clarified in General Comment No. 6 of the ICESCR. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is of the opinion that the States have special obligation to pay attention to the human rights of the older population. Accordingly, Article 3 (equal rights of men and women), Article 6 to 8 (right to work), Article 9 (right to social security), Article 10 (protection of family), Article 11 (right to adequate standard of living), Article 12 (tight to physical and mental health) and Article 13 to 15 (right to education and culture) specially relate to the rights of the older persons especially in relation to the protection against elder abuse.
International Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and the Members of their Families, 1990 (CMW)
Article 7 of the CMW prohibits discrimination on the basis of age along with other various grounds.
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2006 (CRPD)
Among the core human rights treaties, the CRPD offers perhaps the most useful protection for older persons. Although certainly not all older persons have disabilities and the Convention does not single out elderly people for special protection, many of its articles can be utilized by older persons seeking human rights protection. The Convention is special in that it does not define ‘disability’, and it marks a shift from a traditional ‘medical’ model of disability to a rights-based approach.
The principles of the CRPD are particularly relevant to older persons, and among them are respect for dignity; non-discrimination; full participation and inclusion in society; equality of opportunity; and accessibility (Article 3). Article 8 obliges states to combat stereotypes and prejudices relating to persons with disabilities, including those based on sex and age. Article 12 affirms the right of disabled persons to equal recognition before the law. It requires that states stop denying people their legal capacity, and instead enable individuals to exercise their legal capacity by providing necessary support. This article is relevant in the context of older persons seeking protection from paternalistic policies, for example.
‘Older persons’ are referred to in Article 25(b) of the CRPD on the right to health services, and in Article 28(2)(b) on the right to access to social protection and poverty reduction programs. Article 13(1), on access to justice, refers to ‘age-appropriate accommodations.’ Article 16(2) mentions the right to ‘age-sensitive assistance’ by states to ensure freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse. Other Articles in the CRPD that could potentially benefit older persons are Article 9 on accessibility, Article 19 on independent living, Article 20 on personal mobility and Article 26 on habitation.
General Comment on Article 19 of the CRPD (General Comment No. 5, 2017) states, Article 19 of the CRPD recognizes the equal right of all persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community, with the freedom to choose and control their lives. The foundation of the article is the core human rights principle that all human beings are born equal in dignity and rights and all life is of equal worth.
Article 19 emphasizes that persons with disabilities are subjects of rights and are rights holders. The general principles of the Convention (Article 3), particularly respect for the individual’s inherent dignity, autonomy and independence (Article 3(a) and the full and effective participation and inclusion in society (Article 3(c), are the foundation of the right to live independently and be included in the community. Other principles enshrined in the Convention are also essential to interpret and apply article 19.
Since the CRPD recognizes disability as a social condition and includes age as a ground of disability, the interpretation present in the Comment applies in case of older persons and especially in the condition of elder abuse. It emphasizes the right of the elders to live among the family members and in the society contrary to the prevalent practice of leaving aging parents in old age homes.
4.2 Soft Laws
Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing, 1982 (VIPAA)
VIPAA was the first UN human rights instrument on ageing. Its recommendations included avoiding the segregation of the elderly, making available home-based care for elderly persons, rejecting stereotypical concepts in government policies and recognizing the value of old age.
UN Principles for Older Persons, 1991 (UN Principles)
The UN Principles for Older Persons adopted in 1991, encouraged the governments of the globe to incorporate in the programs and policies for Older Persons wherever possible. It enunciates the principles to be incorporated in the said programs, policies and well as laws. The independence, dignity, participation, care, self-fulfillment and dignity are the core principles to be taken into cognizance as stated by the UN Principles. Principle 12 and Principle 17 are particularly relevant in the context of prevention of the elder abuse. Principle 12 states that older persons should have access to social and legal services to enhance their autonomy protection and care. Similarly, Principle 17 states that older persons should be able to live in dignity and security free from exploitation and physical and mental abuse.
Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002 (MIPAA)
MIPAA was adopted twenty years after VIPPA. The plan has a strong focus on human rights. Two of its main goals are:
the full realization of fundamental rights and freedoms for older persons,
ensuring the full enjoyment of the economic, social and cultural rights and the civil and political rights of older persons and the elimination of all forms of violence and discrimination against older persons.
It also identified three policy directions to guide policy formulation and implementation:
older persons and development
advancing health and well- being into old age
ensuring enabling and supportive environments.
The political declaration reaffirms the commitment to elimination of age discrimination, to enhance the recognition of dignity in older persons, their inclusion in society, and the promotion of their human rights in general. The MIPAA has since guided domestic policies and international dialogue on the rights of older people.
Toronto Declaration on Global Prevention of Elder Abuse, 2002 (Toronto Declaration)
The Toronto Declaration emphasized the lack of legal instruments to combat with the elder abuse. Cases of elder abuse even when identified are not addressed due to the lack of legal mechanism to address it. It also recognizes elder abuse as a global problem and urges for education, dissemination of information as well as cultural transformation for the prevention as well as combat against elder abuse.
5. Constitutional Protection against Elder Abuse in Nepal
Article 1(1) of the Constitution of Nepal, 2072 (2015) declares the principle of constitutional supremacy. Similarly, Article 41 of the Constitution guarantees right of senior citizens as a fundamental right. Accordingly, it is declared that senior citizens shall get special protection from the state. The present Constitution is the first Constitution of Nepal to explicitly guarantee the rights of senior citizens as a fundamental right. However the aforementioned Article does not use the word “prohibition of elder abuse” explicitly. Likewise, Article 126 of the Constitution has obliged the Courts to take cognizance of the “recognized principles of justice” in the justice dispensation procedure. Additionally, the Preamble of the Constitution has shown its commitment to the human rights principles. Apart from that Article 51(j) (11) (policies of the state) is relevant in the context of senior citizens.
6. Legal Protection of Elder Abuse in Nepalese Law
Country Code (Muluki Ain), 2020 (1963)
The Country Code (Muluki Ain) has provisions for elderly people in its Section on Partition. In No. 10 of the Chapter on Partition, it is stated that the children cannot compel their parents to conclude a deed of Partition while they are living. Similarly in No. 10(b) of the same Chapter, it is stated, “If the parents want to live with a particular son or daughter, it has to be clearly stated in the Bandapatra (the legal note on property distribution) and that son and daughter should take care of the parents. If the older parents cannot survive on their own income and if the son/daughter with whom they are not living should take care of, feed, and clothe them as per their earning.” Similarly, the Section 11 of the Chapter on Court Management has a provision that the litigation of the elderly people above than 75 years or the people physically retarded should be put in third priority in the hearing. The first priority has been given to person under custody or the prisoner under trial and the second priority is to unclaimed children below 16 years age.
Local Self Governance Act, 2055 (1999)
Section 101 of the Local Self Governance Act confers the Judicial Authority to the Local bodies. Section 101(i) of the Act gives the Village Development Committee to hear the cases related to No. 10 of Chapter on Partition of the Muluki Ain. Unfortunately, the provision did not come into operation until 2017 A.D. In the heading of duties, rights, and responsibilities of Village Development Committee in the Act, there is a provision for protection and development of orphan children, helpless, women, older people and disabled.
Local Governance Operation Act, 2074 (2017)
Section 11(2) (cha) of the Act has obliged the Local Government to keep and update the statistics of the local level using Information and technology. Section 11(2)(k) has obliged the government to distribute identity cards to the senior citizens, make provisions of well-equipped old age homes as well as to take ample care of the senior citizens. Similarly in accordance with Section 47(f) of the Act, the judicial authority of the Judicial Committee formed as per Article 127 of the present Constitution, the local government has the power to hear and decide cases related to the senior citizens.
Senior Citizen Policy, 2058 (2001)
Up till 2002, there was no specific policy for older persons in Nepal. This policy is the key policy document of the government towards elderly in the country. It has envisaged incorporating economic benefit, social security, health service facilities and honor, participation and involvement, and education as well as entertainment aspects to support the elderly people in having prestigious livelihood. The policy aims to enhance the respect and dignity of the elderly in their family, society and nation. It also determines to improve the potential of the elderly so that they continue to be active and productive in national development, and to create opportunities to assist them to continue to be self-reliant.
National Plan of Action on Ageing, 2062
Following the Madrid Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002, the Government of Nepal has formulated National Plan of Action on Ageing. This action plan identifies the elderly as one of its main target groups. Although this marks an initial step in the provision of care for the elderly, institutional efforts are at its minimum as family and community are encouraged or expected to provide care to the elderly. The principle is that the institutional support should be the last resort. This plan of action has attempted to include the various spheres like economic, social security, health and nutrition, participation and involvement, education and entertainment and legal of elders for their empowerment and well- being. It also aims at encouraging the provision of facilities for the elderly so as to ensure care and protection for them.
Senior Citizen Act, 2063 (2006) and Senior Citizens Rules, 2065 (2008)
The Government of Nepal enacted the Senior Citizen Act, 2063 (2006) to ensure the social, economic and human rights of the elderly citizens. The purpose of the Act is to protect and provide the social security of old age citizens. This Act also ensures to nourishment and health care of old age; to maintain their dignity; ensuring their property and have right for use of their property; special facilities and exemption of transportation fare for old age. Section 2(b)(1) defines “helpless senior citizen” as a senior citizen who does not have any source of living. Section 3 of the Act obliges everyone to respect elder citizens. According to Section 4(1), the duty to take proper care of the senior citizen rests on the family. According to Section 6 of the Act senior citizens shall have the liberty to use property in their ownership as per their will.
The Senior Citizens Rules, 2065 (2008) provides guidelines for the effective implementation of the Senior Citizen Act. It provides the detailed information on how to implement the policy and programs for the socio-economic well-beings for elders and the healthy ageing. It also provides the detailed procedures to be fulfilled to establish and run geriatric homes in the country. According to the regulation, specific terms and conditions must be considered to run old age homes, day care centers and geriatric centers. Senior Citizens Act, 2063 (2006) is the specific legislation dealing with the matters of senior citizens, including elder abuse, in the country. The Act obliges the members of the family as well as the society to respect the elders and protect them against abuse.
7. Protection Afforded by Case Law
In the case of Chandra Kanta Gyawali v. Office of Prime Minister it was declared by the Supreme Court that the senior citizens aspire for safer life from the State and expecting such security and claiming or demanding the same from the nation is a matter of their judicious and perennial right. And a directive order was issued for the same in the Name of the Respondents.
In the case of JURI Nepal and Others v. Office of Prime Minister and Others, a directive order was issued in the name of the Respondents to:
Form a fully equipped Social Security Board for the protection of the vulnerable and weaker sections of the society especially those abandoned by the family, including senior citizens.
Form a provincial Social Security Board under the Provincial Government for taking care of the abandoned and vulnerable sections of the society including senior citizens.
To collect and update data related to the abandoned, weaker and vulnerable sections of the society.
To make necessary legal arrangements for protection ensuring right to food, shelter and other majors of protection tying it up with other programs run by the Government for the alleviation of poverty in Nepal.
To levy social security tax on the monthly income of the employees of the private and government sector as well as separate the inadequate money through the government for the creation of Social Security Fund.
In the case of Ganga Bahadur Pradhan v. Yamuna Bahadur Pradhan, it was declared by the Supreme Court that it is inevitable to confer the right to property to the senior citizens for the purpose of their protection, nourishment as well as for medical expenses and for donating in accordance with religion. It is improper to prevent the exercise of this right in the old age.
The judiciary has played a positive role in interpreting the laws related to the senior citizens. By virtue of Article 128(4) of the present Constitution of Nepal, everyone should abide by the interpretation of the laws laid down by the Supreme Court. In the limited number of aforementioned cases related to the senior citizens, the Court has made liberal interpretation of legal provisions in favor of the senior citizens.
8. Legal/Policy Gaps for the of Persons within Nepalese Laws
No specific law on elder abuse
Elder abuse is a complex problem the Nepalese society is facing today. It calls for enactment of separate law on elder abuse. The law should incorporate criminalize all the types of elder abuse along with quantum of punishment for each category of offence.
Self-neglect not included as a form of elder abuse
Self-neglect is a type of elder abuse. It arises out of the willingness and the non-willingness of the concerned senior citizen. For example: A senior citizens suffering from Alzheimer’s disease may be unable to take care of himself or herself. Sometimes, it is also seen that the innocent senior citizen confesses that he/she committed crime in order to save the future of the real wrongdoer. But, this aspect is covered by the law. Neither the Criminal Code recognizes the fact. Category like that of self-neglect should also be included in the Act to make it in line with the international standards.
No official and comprehensive data for the combat of elder abuse
Data and research is key to combating elder abuse. The present laws confer the duty to collect the statistics related to the senior citizens to the local government. But, the local government does not have the comprehensive data on senior citizens. It neither has data related to elder abuse.
Cases of elder abuse go under reported
Though, the elders can report the cases related to elder abuse in the local level. No such cases have been reported as yet in the Kathmandu Metropolitan City till date. It is because the elders themselves are ignorant of the legal protection afforded to them against the abuse in the country. The other reason may be that in most of the cases the abuser is their own son daughter or family members against whom they are unwilling to report. Even in the NHRC there were only two cases related to the human rights of the senior citizens were reported in the Fiscal Year 2071/72 B.S.
Improper management of old age homes has led to further abuse
Many senior citizens who are forced out from their homes live in the old age homes. As the only old age home run by the Government, Pashupati Old Age Home grabs everyone’s attention. Even in the Pashupati Old Age Homes it is reported by the Himalayan Times that the Old Age Home is poorly managed. The senior citizens living there are neither given proper food nor proper room to live.
Elders are the living history of the nation. Elder abuse is a human rights issue. Nepal is a party to core human rights instruments that prohibit elder abuse. It has also enacted the Senior Citizen Act, 2063 (2006). But, the Act is an inadequate legal arrangement to deal with the complex and grave issue of elder abuse. Moreover, the laws are made on a piecemeal basis. A comprehensive law to deal with the same is a must. Furthermore, the rights of senior citizens is not given due attention in the society. As a result, they have not been realized in reality. But, the most neglected aspect of elder abuse is its linkage with the culture of a country.
Nepal is in a phase of cultural transition. The traditional joint family is being replaced by nuclear family. It is high time that all of us seriously consider the linkage of the problem with the different aspect of society. The gravity of the situation must not be overlooked. The fact that elder abuse is not reported does not mean it is not committed. Above all, elder abuse should be combated by making the process of respecting elders our lifestyle by rejuvenating the age old beautiful cultural tradition.
At present, country lacks comprehensive data on elder abuse. For the purpose of designing comprehensive plan, programs, legislation as well as policies against elder Abuse, a comprehensive data regarding the same is required. So, a baseline survey on elder abuse should be conducted.
Separate legislation dealing comprehensively on elder abuse is required as it is a very complex issue. Though, the present umbrella Act on senior citizens touches slightly upon the issue. It does not have detail provisions regarding how to deal with various types of abuse such as care giver neglect or self- neglect. Many a times, senior citizens silently tolerate the abuse but show visible signs like depression, anxiety etc. The most authentic place to investigate such abuses is the hospital. So, health professionals should be trained to identify such abuses. Additionally, legal professionals should lobby for the enactment of new law regarding elder abuse.
Though the existing laws try to pursue the spirit of the international standards, there are two major problems related therewith the laws. Firstly, the laws are not as strict as they should be. Secondly, the senior citizens are unaware that the law protects them against elder abuse. Neither have they got the knowledge about the appropriate place to complain about such abuses. As a result, the cases of elder abuse go unreported despite the presence of the mechanism to protect senior citizens against it. It requires creating awareness regarding existing legal provisions regarding the matter especially targeting the elders. Law universities and colleges which have the capacity to mobilize human resources can play a central role by mobilizing human resources to create awareness regarding the same.
The proper management of old age homes is a must. The last resort of seniors who have been abused is the old age home. But the improper management of the old age homes has led to their human rights violation. So, the proper management of a well-equipped old age homes is required.
According to the existing Senior Citizen Act, the primary responsibility of the care of the senior citizens rests upon their families. But, as the Constitution has declared that the State shall be a welfare state, the primary responsibility of taking care of senior citizens should gradually shift on the State. As more and more youths go to foreign land in search of employment and settle there. It is imperative that the State shall take up the primary responsibility of looking after elders.
The preventive aspect of the elder abuse should be focused. All the sectors of the society should take up the matter seriously. The beauty of all religions that emphasize on the message that the “Elders are the assets of the society” should be imparted to the children so that they can make an image of the same in their unschooled minds. For this, the school curriculum should be so designed that it upholds the age old beautiful tradition of respecting mother, father and teacher as an epitome of God.