Older persons need education on their rights

14 Mar 2017 11:10am
WINDHOEK, 14 MAR (NAMPA) – Namibia’s older persons need education on their rights to social grants, said the United Nation’s (UN) Independent Expert on human rights, Rosa Kornfeld-Matte.
She was in Namibia from 02 to 13 March to assess the human rights situation of older persons in the country.
During a media conference at the UN Headquarters in Windhoek on Monday, Kornfeld-Matte raised concern that the grant (pension) for older persons in Namibia benefits young people more.
“Any policy on older persons has to adopt a human rights based approach and the UN principles on older persons should guide Government efforts.”
During her time in the country, Kornfeld-Matte visited Windhoek, Okahandja, Rundu, Silikunga, and Mpungu in the Kavango East Region. She met with various government authorities and non-governmental organisations regarding older persons.
The UN expert said her research found that older persons in Namibia look after grandchildren, while parents are in the city looking for employment, or some stay with the older persons to benefit from the grant.
Pensioners in Namibia receive N.dollars 1 100 per month.
Kornfeld-Matte said about seven per cent of Namibia’s population is older persons living in rural areas and face financial abuse, maltreatment, poverty and inequality.
She said there is little discussion about these situations in Namibia.
“Care can no longer be considered simply as a family matter and I call on the government to set up efforts to revise legislation to fully provide for the rights, protection, care and welfare of older persons.”
Kornfeld-Matte will present her findings and recommendations report to the UN Human Rights Council in September.