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Rajasthan state human rights commission. RESEARCH PAPER PRESENTED ON THE TOPIC HUMAN RIGHTS AND ELDERLY ABUSE Submitted To- RSHRC. Members presenting the paper. Anshul Singhal – UILS, Panjab University, Chandigarh. Noopur Sharma – 5 Year Law College, Rajasthan University, Jaipur .
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Rajasthan state human rights commission RESEARCH PAPER PRESENTED ON THE TOPIC HUMAN RIGHTS AND ELDERLY ABUSE Submitted To- RSHRC.
Members presenting the paper • Anshul Singhal – UILS, Panjab University, Chandigarh. • Noopur Sharma – 5 Year Law College, Rajasthan University, Jaipur. • AdityaRajasthani – TNNLS, Trichy. • DeepriyaSnehi – Amity Law School, Jaipur. • MahimaShrimali – Amity Law School, Jaipur. • TanviMathur – Amity Law School, Jaipur. • PriyankaKansara – NLU, Jodhpur. • Urmi Vyas – NLU, Jodhpur. • VarushiYadav – GNLU, Gandhinagar.
Significance of the topic • This project intends to throw light on the various aspects of elderly abuse with regard to human rights comparing the situation in the national and international scenario. • It also aims at highlighting the basic problem that a senior citizen faces in this fast paced world and how to stop such a desertion.
Human rights and its evolution • As per the Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the definition of Human Right is that, “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for their health and well- being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security, in the event of unemployment sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. • Human Rights evolved as early as in 539 B.C. where they were imprinted on the cyrus cylinder. There were further developments also thus it began emerging and the latest is Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), 1948. • In India, there is an act in the name of The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. Under this various human rights commissions are established both at national and state level. There is also provision for human rights courts.
Introduction and Evolution of elder abuse • "Elder Abuse is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person” • Traditionally Older People Have Been Respected And Cared In This Country. • Senior Most Aged Person Have Enjoyed The Status Of Head Of The Family. • Head Of The Family Has Had The Privilege Of Decision Making, Enforcing Values And Judgmental Position In Case Of Conflict In The Family. • With Disintegration Of Joint Families And Impact Of Western Culture The Picture Is Gradually Changing.
One who always serves and respects elderly is blessed with four things : Long Life, Wisdom, Fame and Power” Manusmriti Chapter 2:121
Human rights of elderly people • Right to life shall be protected by law. • Right not to be subjected to inhuman treatment “no one shall be subjected to torture of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. • Right to liberty “everyone has the right to liberty and personal security”. • Right to a fair hearing “in the determination of his civil rights and obligations. Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by the law. • Civil rights and obligations. • The right to respect from home, family and private life. • The right to freedom of thought and conscience. • The right not to be discriminated against age. • The right to property, everyone is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. • The right to education.
Other problems • Generation Gap • Income & Housing • Social network & customs • Additional care • Bereavement
AGEISM AS HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE “Ageism can be seen as a process of systematic stereotyping of and discrimination against people because they are old, just as racism and sexism accomplish this for skin color and gender … Ageism allows the younger generations to see older people as different from themselves, thus they subtly cease to identify with their elders as human beings”
What precisely do senior citizens want? • Independence • Participation • Care • Self-fulfilment • Dignity
CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION TO SENIOR CITIZENS • Article 41: Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases: The State shall, within the limits of economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want. • Article 46: Promotion of educational and economic interests of ……. and other weaker sections : The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people…..and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation. • In Constitution of India, entry 24 in list III of schedule VII deals with the Welfare of Labour, including conditions of work, provident funds, liability for workmen’s compensation, invalidity and Old age pension and maternity benefits. • Further, Item No. 9 of the State List and item 20, 23 and 24 of Concurrent List relates to old age pension, social security and social insurance, and economic and social planning.
LEGAL PROTECTION TO SENIOR CITIZENS • Under Personal Laws • Hindu Law • Muslim law • Christian and Parsis Law • Under Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 • Maintenance and Welfare of Parents & Senior citizens Act, 2007
Governmental protection to senior citizens The Government of India approved the National Policy for Older Persons- • Setting up of a pension fund for ensuring security for those persons who have been serving in the unorganized sector, • Construction of old age homes and day care centers for every 3-4 districts, • Establishment of resource centers and re-employment bureaus for people above 60 years, • Concessional rail/air fares for travel within and between cities, i.e.,30% discount in train and 50% in Indian Airlines. • Enacting legislation for ensuring compulsory geriatric care in all the public hospitals.
Other measures • The Ministry of Justice and Empowerment has announced regarding the setting up of a National Council for Older Person, called age well Foundation. It will seek opinion of aged on measures to make life easier for them. • Attempts to sensitise school children to live and work with the elderly. Setting up of a round the clock help line and discouraging social ostracism of the older persons are being taken up. • The government policy encourages a prompt settlement of pension, provident fund (PF), gratuity, etc. in order to save the superannuated persons from any hardships. It also encourages to make the taxation policies elder sensitive. • The policy also accords high priority to their health care needs. • According to Sec.88-B, 88-D and 88-DDB of Income Tax Act there are discount in tax for the elderly persons. • Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has also been providing several scheme for the benefit of aged persons, i.e.,JeevanDharaYojana, JeevanAkshayYojana, Senior Citizen Unit Yojana, Medical Insurance Yojana. • Former Prime Minister A.B.Bajpai was also launch ‘AnnapuranaYojana’ for the benefit of aged persons. Under this yojana unattended aged persons are being given 10 kg food for every month. • It is proposed to allot 10 percent of the houses constructed under government schemes for the urban and rural lower income segments to the older persons on easy loan. The policy mentions.
INTERNATIONAL real life story When Mary turned 86 years old, her daughter, Claire, decided it was time for her to move to a nursing home. Claire, who is recently divorced with three small children, did not have the energy or resources to take care of her mother. Mary requires constant attention because she had a tendency to wonder off, leave the water running, forgets to turn off the stove, and once flooded the bathroom. Mary takes several medications for a variety of aches and pains and trying to keep the medication filled and dispensed was an extra stress that Claire could not deal with. Reluctantly Mary moved into a nursing home and within a week the nursing home Administrator called Claire to inform her that her mother had fallen out of bed and broke her hip. Claire went to visit her mother in the hospital and was shocked at what she saw! Along with the broken hip Mary had a black eye, bruises are both arms, an abrasion on her back and her abdomen was distended. Claire immediately called the hospital social worker and demanded that the nursing home be investigated for abuse. Upon review of the injuries the hospital social worker contacted the police and called the Elder Abuse Hotline and reported the nursing home for suspected abuse.
Questions involved • This is a sad and possibly preventable event. What could have been done to prevent this tragic situation? • What do you believe should be done to prevent cases like this from occurring? • What resources could be made available to the family in order to keep Mary in the community?
National real life stories “I have been fed up of mistreatment by my daughter-in-law with me. She treats me like with a servant and abuses me verbally. I left my home for many occasions but every time I returned for my sons and grandchildren. I suffer a lot in old age only for sake of my sons & grandchildren.” Noor Bano Begum, 77, Ahmadnager, Maharashtra. “My son & daughter-in-law, both are working. I have to look after my grown-up grandchildren all the time. My son & his wife don’t allow me to go out of home, even when they are at home. After death of my husband I am being marginalized in my own house. Sometimes it seems that I am not the owner of the house, but a care-taker.” PremwatiVerma, 75-year-old widow, Kanpur,
Landmark judgments • Father or mother must be unable to maintain him or herself- Bombay High Court in PANDURANG BHAURAO DHABADE VS. BABURAO BABURAO DHABADE & ANOTHERS. • Daughter is liable to pay maintenance to parents- SC in Dr. Mrs. VIJAYA MANOHAR ARBAT VS. KASHIRAO RAJARAM SAWAI & ANOTHER. • Adoptive mother can claim maintenance-Bombay HC in BABAN ALIAS MADHAV DAGADU DANGE VS. PARVATIBAI DAGADU DANGE. • Step mother can claim maintenance- SC in KIRTIKANT D. VADODARIA VS. STATE OF GUJRAT & ANOTHER.
Interaction with various old people We visited a total of 16 persons out of which two are listed below- • Mr. and Mrs. Mathur- Nirwan Nagar: Flat T4 Members- 2, husband and wife My children are staying in America. We are financially, economically satisfied. But we are so lonely. We gave education to our children but now they has left us and went to America for their jobs and livelihood. Mr. Mathuris suffering from paralysis. He is unable to walk without Jaipur foot. They live on 4th floor. Lift of the building is not working. They have to face a lot of problems daily i.e. loneliness, many problems- they have to do their work on their own • Mr. & Mrs. Sharma- Vaishali Nagar, C- 30 Members- 2, husband & wife A husband and wife, they have one boy and one girl. Their boy lives in Dubai and the daughter is married and she use to send some items to her mother every month and ask her to sell the same, in other world she gave her the target for the month. She is the distributor of Amway. If her mother cannot fulfill the target thenshe won’t be able to obtain the necessity i.e. food, clothes & home.
Visit to old age home ‘anubhav’ Due to increase in life span of elderly persons during last few decades and due to the growing urbanization, change in socio-economic conditions, breakup of joint family system senior citizens are facing problems. Keeping the problem of the Aged in view, The Indian Council for Social Welfare has started ‘ANUBHAV’ an old Age home to provide security to the needy. For this purpose 867 sq. meters of land was purchased from the Rajasthan Housing Board, Jaipur and construction work of the building was completed with the support of Rs. 9 Lacs from Help Age India and Rs. 5 lacs grant from Government of India. The Old Age Home building ‘ANUBHAV’ was inaugurated by Hon’ble justice ANSHUMAAN SINGH, Governor of Rajasthan on 20th March, 2001. The Home is running totally with the generosity of various organization like Help Age India, Rotary Club Jaipur East, Inner wheel Club and Mahaveer International & other donors.
Challenges before the government • Discrimination • Poverty • Violence and abuse • Lack of specific measures and services • Strengthening the international protection regime for the human rights of older persons • Violence against older persons and women in particular • Financial exploitation • Health • Long-term care • Participation in policy making and political life • Work
Main findings These findings were given by Help Age India- • Half of the elderly (50%) reportedly experiencing abuse. 48% males and 53% females reported personal experience of abuse. • In 2014 the % of elders abused went up drastically from 23% in the previous year to 50%. • Verbal Abuse (41%), Disrespect (33%) and Neglect (29%) are ranked as the most common types of abuse experienced by the elderly. These three types of abuse are also the same as cited in previous years and also are in consonance with the general perception among elderly. • Elders across cities were asked about the abusers within their family. The Daughter-in-law (61%) and Son (59%) emerged as the topmost perpetrators. This is a trend that is continuing from the previous years. Not surprisingly, 77% of those surveyed, live with their families. • The elder victims cite that the primary reasons underlying their abuse are: ‘emotional dependence on the abuser’ (46%), ‘economic dependence on the abuser’ (45%) and ‘changing ethos’ (38%). • 46% reported facing abuse for 3-5 years, while 25% reported 1-2 years. Sadly, 4% of the elderly reported to be facing abuse for more than 15 years. This year the number of people who are admitting to suffer abuse for 3-5 years has jumped to 46% as against 28% the previous years.
Contd….. • While abuse has gone up, unfortunately still 41% of those abused, did not report the matter to anyone. “Maintaining confidentiality of the family matter” is cited to be the major reason behind not reporting abuse (59%). • An interesting observation about the Reasons for Not Reporting abuse, is that in Metro cities there is marked ‘lack of confidence in the any person or agency to deal with the problem’ and also there seems to be a general feeling of “did not know how to deal with the abuse”. • All elders surveyed seemed most aware of the police helpline at 67%. In the case of victims the awareness level continues to be high at 64% but only 12% approached the police. • Elder awareness of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007 has marginally increased from 11% to 19%. However, still only 14% of the victims are aware of the Act. • Nationally, the effective mechanisms perceived by all elderly to deal with Elder Abuse include “increasing economic independence of the abused (30%)”, “sensitizing children and strengthening inter-generational bonding (21%)” and “developing Self-Help-Groups of Older Persons to provide assistance and intervention (14%).” • However many victims both in Tier I & Tier II cities pointed out “Developing an effective legal reporting & redressal system” is an important step for effectively dealing with Elder Abuse.
What can be done? • Sensitization of younger persons through creative use of media. • Recreation Centre. • Utilization of productive potential of older persons through utilization in community services. • Counselling of older people to adjust to the needs and changed circumstances of the younger generation. One of the Lawyers in JAIPUR added, “The elderly face abuse from children mostly due to property issues. The children subject the elderly to emotional and at times, even physical abuse over property” • One should have a steady cash flow. • One should make adjustment within family.
Contd….. • One should have own property so that the Elderly do not have to depend on others for a place to stay. One should talk about the abuse faced to others family members /community. • Contact Senior Citizen's Association to help and guide. • Register complaint with the police. • Contact counsellors to help deal with the abuse. • Effective and proper implementation of the law enforcing agencies ( lawyers and police ). • Police should also register the complaint without any delays and harassment.