Nigeria: UN expert calls for more progress in protecting the elderly |

Concluding a 12-day visit to the country, Claudia Mahler, Independent expert on the enjoyment of all human rights for the elderlysaid that, as with ageism and discrimination, even among government officials, violence against the elderly is an unwritten fact.

Law of coercion

She welcomed the Government’s progressive efforts to combat poverty, security concerns, the economic crisis and gender-based inequality faced by many older people, efforts that she advocated “translated into the passage of the National Elderly Citizen Center Act and the creation of a dedicated Center at the Federal Government Level to ensure that the human rights of older people are mainstreamed in all both programs and activities”.

Meanwhile, a pending bill called ‘Elderly (Rights and Privileges)’ will provide the most comprehensive legal framework ever for elderly people in the country, addressing social challenges. and the economy caused by the aging process.

“I appeal to the President [Muhammadu] Buhari agrees to the legislation, as part of her extended legacy to promote elderly rights,” she said. speak.

Lack of protection

The absence of social protection layers, including the regular distribution of pensions, contributes to the difficulty of the elderly in accessing social services, including appropriate health care, Choose from various care and adequate housing.

Elderly people in vulnerable situations – especially those with disabilities, migrants, living below the poverty line and people living under the LGBT population – should be prioritized by the Government when implementing legal and policy instruments.

“Continued efforts, together with the right political will and budget, must be strengthened to ensure that legal and policy safeguards protect the rights of all older people across the territory. Nigeria, in fact, irrespective of their sex, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, and living and economic circumstances,” emphasized the expert.

Upcoming report

During her visit, Ms. Mahler met with various government agencies at the federal and state levels, civil society, elder rights stakeholders and older people themselves.

She will present a comprehensive report of her findings and recommendations to the UN Dong Nhan Quyen Association in Geneva in September 2023.

The independent expert concluded: “I hope my report and recommendations will help the country reduce inequality and ensure a dignified life for all elderly people in the country.”

Independent experts appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council based in Geneva to check and report back about a particular human rights topic or a country situation. The positions are honorary and professionals are not paid for their work.

Claudia Mahler, United Nations Independent Expert on the Rights of Older Persons to All Human Rights, during her recent visit to Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria.

OHCHR / Claudia Mahler

Claudia Mahler, United Nations Independent Expert on the Rights of Older Persons to All Human Rights, during her recent visit to Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria.

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