GIS – 10 December, 2019: The Minister of Social Integration, Social Security and National Solidarity, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, condemned any kind of negligence, acts of physical violence or mental torture vis-à-vis older persons and appealed to the population, especially bus owners, to reconsider their attitudes and mindsets and to treat the elderly with due respect and care.
She was speaking at the opening of an interactive meeting on the rights of elderly persons and persons living with disabilities held in the context of Human Rights Day 2019 observed on 10 December, this morning, at La Canelle, Domaine Les Pailles. This meeting was organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), following several complaints made by elderly persons and persons living with disabilities with regards to problems they had encountered with the service provided by bus owners.
In her address, Minister Jeewa-Daureeawoo emphasised that the time is apt for one and all to reflect on the fundamental rights provided by the Constitution of Mauritius and learn from the evolution of travel practices around the world.
Moreover, she called for the collaboration of all Human Rights Units to adopt a coordinated approach and concerted efforts in the promotion of the rights of elderly persons as well as persons living with disabilities across the country. The importance of coming up with clear-cut recommendations during the meeting was also highlighted by the Minister.
Mrs Jeewa-Daureeawoo stated that the elderly population, with their enriching life experience, represents an essential guide for the younger generation. The Mauritian society, as a whole, must benefit from their advice and principles so as to foster a harmonious society imbued with moral values and principles, she added.
As regards the improvement of the quality of life of senior citizens and persons living with disabilities, she recalled that Government has implemented some key measures namely increase of the monthly Basic Retirement Pension from Rs 6 210 to Rs 9 000; and introduction of a monthly pension for disabled children aged below 15 years.
The Minister acknowledged that living with a disability is challenging both for the handicapped person as well as for the family. According to her, caring for a disabled family member may increase stress, affect decisions about work, education/training, amongst others.
Furthermore, she appealed to elderly persons who receive their pension allocation via post to consider opening a bank account where their pension will be deposited on a monthly basis. This, she said, will decrease the risk of them being potential victims of theft and they will also not need to wait in long queues at the post offices and travel for long distances. She reiterated her pledge to ensure the well-being, protection, and rights of the elderly community.
Human Rights Day 2019
Human Rights Day commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The theme this year is Youth Standing Up for Human Rights.
Young people represent the majority of the population in most developing countries, where they are often directly exposed to the effects of climate change, conflict, exclusion or economic instability. In many parts of the world, it is still difficult for youth to be heard and to influence decision-making processes.
In spite of these challenges, young people stand up for rights and against racism, hate speech, bullying and discrimination. On Human Rights Day, the leadership and courageous efforts of young people to Stand Up for Human Rights are being recognised.
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