ECOWAS charged to enhance protection for older persons

HelpAge International, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), urged parliamentarians from Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to enhance protection for older persons in Africa.

Mr Shem Ochola, the Head of Network Coordination and Development of the organisation, made the call during a High Level Conference on the Rights of Older Persons, organised by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and ECOWAS Parliament on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ochola said there was need for ECOWAS parliamentarians to work toward protecting the rights of older persons.

He called on them to rectify the protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa.

According to him, for a convention on older people’s rights to be strong and effective, it must reflect older people’s experiences across the world.

He said that Africa needed to support technical cooperation and capacity-building in the field of human rights for older persons.

The coordination head added that Africa must also work toward achieving a society where older persons thrive and feel empowered to
champion their own human rights, as well as those of others on the continent.

He pointed out that most older persons on the continent had little access and control over the care and support services they required to live independent lives.

According to him, palliative care services are hard to access or, in many cases, do not exist at all.

He said the NGO would continue to help older persons to claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty,
so that they could lead dignified, secure, active and healthy lives.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government, in partnership with ECOWAS and the UN are set to collaborate
for the introduction and implementation of new and existing policies that improves the living conditions of older citizens in Africa.

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