Human Rights Commission Proposes Law for Welfare And Protection of Elderly

  • Says the commission feels that time has come to give them a special place in Nigerian statutes.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has proposed a law that will ensure the welfare and protection of the rights and wellbeing of the elderly in society.

This was stated by the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu,in the Adamawa State capital, Yola, at the review meeting of a project monitoring the rights of internally displaced people (IDPs) as being co-implemented by the NHRC and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states.

Speaking with newsmen in Yola in the course of the four-day End of Year Review/Training Meeting of the Project, Ojukwu said the society owes it as a duty to protect the elderly, whether they are IDPs or people living regular lives.

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“We propose that there should be an adequate legal framework for the elderly,” he said.

While noting that although in Africa, old people are usually taken care of by family members, he said the commission feels that time has come to give them a special place in Nigerian statutes.

According to him, the call became imperative “owing to the impoverishment of families, effects of urbanisation, as well as reduction in the role and relevance of elders in communities where they used to function like consultants and were appreciated as such.”

He added that such factors are affecting the care that the elderly receive from their relations and the communities, hence the need to make special provision for them.

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“Having served their youthful years for the good of society, society owes them intervention,” he said, adding, “We feel they could be helped with what we call Lifelong learning and lifelong care.”

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