Tue | Aug 14, 2018

Retiree group calls for law to protect elderly

Published:Tuesday | May 30, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
Jean Lowrie-Chin

With 201 senior citizens murdered between 2014 and 2016, a call has been made from the Caribbean Community of Retired Persons (CCRP) for legislation that would give the elderly protection, similar to children under the Child Care and Protection Act.

Making the plea was Jean Lowrie-Chin, CCRP president, who told The Gleaner that specific amendments are needed to the law protecting the elderly, suggesting the new law be called the Elderly Protection Act.

"These most worthy persons in our society are increasingly susceptible to crime, violence and abuse, so we are looking at what could be called the Elderly Protection Act, something very similar to the Child Care and Protection Act to stop this level of abuse of our seniors," Lowrie-Chin said.

The suggestion was made at yesterday's annual general meeting at the group's Phoenix Avenue offices, where members were given a breakdown of audited statements on the financial health of the organisation and the way forward.

"We have been getting lots of reports about elder abuse and because we are getting these reports, we realise that we need to strengthen laws to protect them. It's our duty and a great responsibility," Lowrie-Chin said.

Members of the organisation and senior attorneys Peter Mais and Ambassador Aloun Assamba will be charged with making recommendations to Shahine Robinson, minister of labour and social security.


Major concern for police


In the meantime, Superintendent of Police Stephanie Lindsay said she will support calls for the establishing of legislation that seeks to add volume to the current law in protecting the elderly.

She said that police data showed that crime against senior citizens, while being low in comparison to the general population, remained a major point of concern for the police.

"I support any call that protects our elderly. I will always stand in support of any legislation that seeks to protect the senior citizens in the society. I think it's very important and something we need at this time," Lindsay said.

In recent weeks, attacks on seniors have been a cause for concern in Jamaica, with two elderly women being murdered within a two-day period.