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Human Rights Commission wants law to protect, care for elderly

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is seking a legal framework to ensure welfare and protection of the rights and wellbeing of the elderly in the society.

Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu, said this 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

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

“We propose that there should be adequate legal framework for the elderly,” he said, explaining that although in Africa, old people are usually taken care of by family members, “we feel that time has come to give them special place in our statutes.”

He said this has become imperative “owing to 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.”

According to him, 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.

“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.”

Officials of the NHRC and those of the UNHCR as well as project monitors were in Yola for the End of Year Review/Training Meeting of the NHRC/UNHRC IDP/Protection Monitoring Project to review the execution of the project in 2019 and to make recommendations to improve the project in the coming year.

The NHRC Executive Secretary Tony Ojukwu, explained that the project entailed ensuring that people displaced from their homes by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa live in reasonable comfort either in IDPs camps or with relatives, adding that the project succeeded in the outgoing year at reducing incidence of human rights abuses of IDPs.

Source: The Nation

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