The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has admonished Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to show interest in issues of the aged and in policies and legislations that affected the vulnerable in society.
It said people like the aged, women, children, and importantly women who were being accused of witchcraft needed support and assistance from CSOs to compliment the effort of the government.
“Society should desist from treating the elderly in their families as though they are without usefulness however, some non-governmental organisations want to sponsor the amendment of the Criminal Offences Act to make any assault and discrimination against the aged including the allegedaccused witches, a criminal offence,” the Commission disclosed.
Joseph Whittal, the Commissioner of CHRAJ, said the aged and loney years after their retirement needed to be given special attention and care which had been an area of concern for them which they should not be denied of.
He described as elating the desire of some CSOs interest to sponsor the amendment of the Criminal Offences Act to make any assault and discrimination against the aged including the accusation of witchcraft, a criminal offence.
“At the family level, children the aged have given birth to, should not think once my parents or uncles are old now, weak and sitting at home, the only support and assistance they can return to them is in terms of cash but providing cash to them at that age is not enough because what they want is to be cared for through frequent visits, talks and feel they are still useful.
“Chat with them, call them even if you are in the city and they are at the village, every weekend, find time and speak with them and they will feel welcomed, find time and go home, sit with them and converse with them and they may talk about irrelevant issues not relevant to you but give them hearing,” Mr Whittal advised.
He urged the government to stipulate the African Union Protocol on older persons which it had signed onto, into its Aging Bill before it was domesticated to make life easier for senior citizens. -GNA