Public Defender’s Statement on International Day of Older Persons
1 October is International Day of Older Persons. The Public Defender calls on the authorities to ensure adequate protection and realization of the rights of older persons in order to expand their capacities and equal involvement in all areas.
In his address released with regard to the 25th anniversary of the Day of Older Persons, the United Nations Secretary General spoke about the important contribution of older persons to the global development, the state obligations to ensure their medical and social protection as well as their active participation in economic and social life.
Realization of these and other rights remains a challenge for the aged citizens living in Georgia, who are one of the vulnerable groups in the country. Social protection of the elderly is of low quality; most of them live in poverty; government programs and services are insufficient; various types of violence, including by family members, are often committed against them.
The state does not have an effective policy for the older persons or a strategy for ensuring their rights or social welfare. The implementation process of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging and its Regional Strategy for the Implementation is delayed. The document obliges the state to ensure adequate living conditions as well as social and health protection of older persons; to reduce and prevent poverty; to develop appropriate strategies and programs.
Given the importance of the problem, the Public Defender has paid particular attention to the protection of the rights of older persons for the last few years. He has provided necessary recommendations to the relevant agencies. One of the most important recommendations is adoption of a national strategy and an action plan within the framework of the aforementioned International Plan of Action, which will provide for comprehensive approach and will respond to the needs of the aging people, by taking into view gender aspects.
In order to supervise protection of the rights of the elderly, the Public Defender carried out monitoring in specialized institutions. He will present the recommendations developed within the framework of the monitoring on 1 October.