Law drafted to protect elders from exploitation
PEOPLE who abuse older citizens or violate their rights could go to prison for two years under a law now under discussion in parliament. The Elders Draft Law, promulgated in state-owned media on June 29, aims to promote and protect the rights, health and economic well-being of older people.
The draft was issued after MPs had viewed a video apparently showing the exploitation of older people who had been sent out to beg in the streets and then hand over the takings to a “protector”. The video was also widely circulated on social media.
Pyithu Hluttaw MP Daw Phyu Phyu Thin, who has been actively involved in social work, said, “This is the first such law to be drawn up for older people in Myanmar. It is necessary. Traditionally, we looked after older people, but these days there is less moral fibre. People are even sending out older people to beg on their behalf. I look forward to debating this draft in the next session of the hluttaw.”
Yangon Region social welfare director U Myo Set Aung invited people to notify the authorities of such abuse, saying violators could already be dealt with under existing laws. He welcomed the draft law, saying it would shield old persons’ rights by setting penalties for abuse.
The law defines “elders” as persons aged over 60. Those convicted of violating their rights can be fined from K100,000 (US$85) to K1 million, and sentenced to up to two years in prison.
The social welfare helpline for people wishing to report abuse is 09-453197225.