The Grenada Human Rights Organisation (GHRO) Inc stands in solidarity with organisations here in Grenada, the Caribbean region and international communities in observance and recognition of Older Persons on 1 October.
The contributions and sacrifices made by our seniors must not be taken for granted and should be recognised, not only during the month of October but throughout the year.
The issues of their rights to protection from abuse, the support for the development of their wellbeing – socially, emotionally, spiritually and otherwise, the growing concerns of homelessness and loneliness amongst the elderly are to be urgently addressed if as a nation we have to fulfill our obligations contained in Goal #10 in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
GHRO Inc and its partner-organisations within the groupings of civil society organisations and other NGOs, endorse the calls being made for greater attention to be given to the elderly amongst us. The elderly community is vulnerable and has many challenges and concerns that need to be addressed with a sense of urgency, according to President of GHRO Inc, Milton Coy.
Coy, a human rights and social justice advocate, described some of the concerns as “Elder abuse, financial and sexual exploitations, lack of family care and support, lack of access to some aspects of healthcare.
GHRO Inc has consistently participated in the observance of the International Day for Older Persons and will continue to support public awareness through sharing of knowledge and build capacity with public forums. This year we support the Month of the Elderly Planning Committee led by the Desk of the Elderly activities focusing on the 2019 United Nations theme: The journey to age equality.
As an activist movement, we have received several complaints regarding the low levels of respect meted out to the elderly. The concern about the hostility experienced in accessing the public transportation system (service) and the increasing threats to economic independence, inclusion and social stability are real and are also contrary to international human rights laws and conventions and constitute a violation of the rights of older persons.
GHRO Inc calls on the government to increase its allocation – monetary and in-kind, for the overall development of the senior citizens. There is also a need for public education and awareness campaign on the ageing process. This is a call to action! Let there be an enabling environment for the journey to ageing equality.
There is also a responsibility for all citizens to “get to know what your rights are” in this changing society. We call for national support regarding our public education programmes through the Students with Right Attitudes (SRA) programme in primary and secondary schools, the Know Your Rights (KYR) campaign and the social media initiatives to build capacity for all advocates. GHRO Inc and its partners will continue to provide training to members of community-based organisations in advocacy focusing on monitoring and evaluation.
We extend best regards to the thousands of senior citizens – the elderly – older persons here in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique – especially the centenarians with us. We again recommit to our mission to promote and protect the rights of ALL members of society.
Grenada Human Rights Organisation