Stop abusing seniors, urges labour and social security minister
Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson is appealing to Jamaicans to unite in stamping out the abuse of senior citizens, warning that those who persist in taking advantage of this vulnerable group will face harsher sanctions.
"I appeal to all Jamaicans to report the abuse of elders to the police or to the council (National Council for Senior Citizens). Those of you who are engaged in it, I say to you, publicly, desist from doing so because if it means that stiffer penalties will have to be imposed as a deterrent, so shall it be," she declared yesterday during the launch of Senior Citizens Week at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston.
The week, which runs from Sunday, September 23 to Monday, October 1 under the theme 'Forging Our Future: Embracing the Participation, Contribution and Talents of Older Persons' will see a number of activities across the island celebrating the rights as well as the contributions of senior citizens (person 60 years and older).
Promising that the pending revised national policy for senior citizens will provide improved social-protection measures, Robinson underscored the need for a greater appreciation of the work and worth of senior citizens.
REVISED NAT'L POLICY
"The prosperity, progress, growth, and gains we are enjoying today have been made possible through the tremendous efforts and sacrifices of our seniors and elders across the island. Therefore, as I launch activities marking Senior Citizens Week, I must remind all Jamaicans that the abuse of our elders is of great concern to all decent and law-abiding citizens," said Robinson.
The minister offered further insight into provisions of the revised national senior policy, which was tabled in Parliament this year, the Green Paper for which is available on the ministry's and the Jamaica Information Service's websites for review and comments.
"This policy will be the benchmark for establishing and maintaining a productive, healthy, and meaningful environment for our senior citizens. It is anticipated that Parliament, in the coming year, will complete the review of the policy, which will allow for social-protection measures that will redound to the benefit of our senior citizens all over Jamaica."
The national church service to mark the official start of the week is slated to get under way today at 11 o'clock at the Ocho Rios Seventh-day Adventist Church, Milford Road, St Ann.