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October 1, 2020

‘Elderly people should be treated with dignity’

Islamabad

October 1, 2020

Islamabad : The Islamabad Capital Territory Senior Citizens Bill 2020, currently with the National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights, will institute essential protections to ensure that the elderly can live a meaningful life, and to limit barriers that prevent their full participation in society.

Federal Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari said this on the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons commemorated on October 1 each year. She said that the Ministry of Human Rights has drafted the Bill which will soon be passed by the Parliament. “It is essential that the elderly are treated with respect and dignity,” she added in a statement issued by the Ministry on Wednesday.

The Draft Bill builds upon on a rights-based approach, focusing on ensuring adequate living standards and social protections for the elderly. The law also proposes the establishment of a Senior Citizen’s Council, which will work towards ensuring that senior citizens are given priority in hospitals and medical facilities. A Senior Citizen’s Fund for the protection of the rights of senior citizens will also be established under this law. Three provincial governments including Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have already enacted legislations for the senior citizens.

Federal Secretary for Human Rights, Rabiya Javeri Agha said, “Rather than being perceived and treated as a burden to society, it is important to create an enabling environment for senior citizens to age with grace, dignity and opportunities to live a meaningful life. Legislative, policy and awareness interventions have the power to impact societal behaviour and attitudes, which can ensure that the elderly are able to fulfil their potential in dignity and equality.”

The year 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons as well as the initiation of the Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020-2030)- geared towards promoting concerted, catalytic and collaborative action to improve the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live.