Press release on the occasion of the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Senior citizens are one of the social groups most frequently discriminated against and exposed to violence. It is our obligation to provide them with support and the necessary knowledge so that they can recognize violence and discrimination, report and fight it, said the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality Brankica Janković in Inđija, on the occasion of the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

A dialogue was held in this city with older and younger citizens, in cooperation with the Red Cross, in order to better understand this problem from different generational perspectives.

The violence to which the elderly are exposed often goes unnoticed because of their personal attitude, the shame of reporting it and deep prejudices and stereotypes, the Commissioner stated. Older people also complain about poverty, insufficient access to health and social services, loneliness and exclusion. The last year’s report of the Commissioner on discrimination against the elderly showed that they are often the target of various marketing scams, and more than half of them do not feel equal, said Janković.

Serbia is one of the demographically old countries and shares the destiny of Europe on this issue. Modern society needs a change of attitude that old age is expensive, unimportant, a burden and a commitment, and in order to turn what we consider negative today into an advantage for the future, we need courage and partnership of all factors of society. Respect and protection of the human rights of the elderly, the fight against discrimination, and for dignified aging, must be the focus of public policies that will include increasingly pronounced demographic changes, specific to each region and part of Serbia.

As a society, we have an advantage and potential, in accordance with the cultural identity and tradition, which includes respect for the elderly and relations of intergenerational solidarity and understanding. Old age is the only certain future for all of us, if we have the privilege to live to old age, the Commissioner concluded.

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