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UN urges to protect older people in crises and emergencies

United Nations, June 15 (Prensa Latina) By celebrating today the World Day of Awareness of Abuse and Mistreatment in Old Age, the UN highlighted the need to protect and assist older people in crises and emergencies.

With the motto “Older people in the spotlight of emergencies”, this 2024 anniversary – decreed by the United Nations (UN) in 2006 – also aims to highlight the importance of education and training of emergency personnel in case of emergencies, caregivers and the general public.

According to experts, situations such as natural disasters, pandemics or conflicts disproportionately affect older people, further exacerbating their vulnerability.

It is therefore crucial to take their needs into account when planning and responding to emergencies, as they often have mobility problems, chronic illnesses or social isolation.

Such factors may hinder your ability to access help, evacuate safely, or receive timely medical care and support services.

Added to this is that the stress and chaos of emergencies can increase the risk of abuse of older people, whether physical, emotional, financial or due to neglect.

Between 2019 and 2030, the number of people aged 60 and over is expected to increase by 38 percent, from one billion to 1.4 billion, outnumbering youth globally.

This growth will be especially greater and faster in developing regions, and requires greater attention to the specific challenges affecting older people, including in the field of human rights.

Furthermore, elder abuse is a social problem that exists in all countries and is generally scarcely reported.

Prevalence rates or estimates exist in only a few developed countries, ranging between one and 10 percent.

Although the magnitude of elder abuse is unknown, its social and moral importance is indisputable, which is why experts point out that this problem requires a multifaceted global response that focuses on protecting the rights of older persons and take into account cultural contexts.