2021 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day














The UN General Assembly designated 15 June as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (res. A/RES/66/127).

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.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: Access to Justice

Date: Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Time: 09:00-10:15 EST (NY), 15:00-16:15 CEST (Geneva)

  • Moderator: Silvia Perel-Levin, INPEA representative to the UN and Chair of the NGO Committee on Ageing, Geneva
  • Opening Words:
    • Susan Somers, President of INPEA
    • HE Mr Federico Villegas, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the UN in Geneva,
      co-chair of the Group of Friends of the human rights of older persons, Geneva
    • HE Mr Enrique Austria Manalo, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the UN, New York Statement
  • Panelists:
    • Claudia Mahler, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons
    • Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, Special Envoy of the UN SG on Disability and Accessibility
    • Etienne Krug, Director of the department of Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization
    • Tlaleng Mofokeng, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard
      of physical and mental health
    • Natasa Todorovic, Health and Care Program Manager, Red Cross of Serbia and INPEA Europe
    • Bill Mitchell, Principal Solicitor, Townsville Community Law Inc, Australia

The panel was followed by a session of questions and answers with the audience.

The event is accessible with sign language and captioning and will have French, Spanish, German and
Russian interpretation.

Watch the recorded event here.

For questions please contact: Silvia Perel-Levin: s.perel58@gmail.com and Susan Somers: ngoageing@gmail.com

Geneva event: Marking World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Date: Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Time: 10:00-11:30 CEST (Geneva)


Presentations by:

  • Ms. Claudia Mahler, UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons – Statement
  • Mr. Djordje Alempijevic MD., Member of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT)
  • Ms. Tríona Lenihan, Policy and International Advocacy Manager, Penal Reform International

Related Age with Rights videos: 


Older People Around the World At Higher Risk Of Abuse & Neglect Than Before The Pandemic: says new report from HelpAge International

Photo Credit: United Nations Photo

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, 15 June

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 66/127, designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day