2021 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: Access to Justice

2021 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: Access to Justice

Access to Justice

Violence, abuse and neglect of older persons are the most hidden and underreported violations of human rights.

Not only are older persons at high risk of serious illness and mortality, but they continue to face disproportionate cases of age based  discrimination, stigmatization and subjected to multiple violations of human rights. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on reports of abuse and neglect of older persons, particularly in long term care institutions and the community.

This year’s theme “Access to Justice” serves as a reminder of the importance to fully address the needs of older persons who may seek recourse. Older persons who have experienced situations of violence, abuse and neglect often face multiple barriers in accessing judicial remedies such as issues of accessibility, affordability, reasonable accommodation, excessive delays and backlogs in judicial processes, impact of digitalization, cultural norms, gender bias, discrimination, and entrenched ageism in policy, norms and practices.

Access to Justice impacts older persons’ ability to fully exercise all their human rights including the right to health, adequate social protection and to live in dignity. The preservation or restoration of dignity and respect for older persons is crucial in such situations.

Access to justice is also a core element of the rule of law, a fundamental right in itself and an essential prerequisite for the protection and promotion of all other human rights. It encompasses the right to a fair trial, including equal access to and equality before the courts, and seeking and obtaining just and timely remedies for rights violations. This year’s event will address these issues and help explore standards for the protection of older persons against violence, neglect and abuse.

For more information, please visit: www.un.org/development/desa/ageing/world-elder-abuse-awareness-day/2021-2.html