The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) happens each year on 15th of June. It was officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011. The resolution followed a request by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA), who first established the commemoration in June 2006.
It represents the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted to some of our older generations. 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.