• Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023

Land Conflicts Contributing to Elder Abuse

UGANDA, Kampala Real Muloodi News The State Minister for Elderly Affairs, Dominic Mafwabi, has highlighted that land conflicts in the country are fueling the abuse of older persons.

Mafwabi explained that the desire for land often leads to conflicts between attackers and victims, resulting in the mistreatment of older individuals.

“The most common forms of abuse of older persons are related to land conflicts, sexual and gender-based violence, and neglect. The older persons are weaker and therefore, the perpetrators want to use their status to their own advantage,” Mafwabi said.

Speaking at a press conference at the Uganda Media Centre, Mafwabi addressed the issue ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which is observed on June 15.

In Uganda, the day was celebrated on Friday, June 16 under the theme “Seniors Deserve Our Respect and Attention.”

Mafwabi identified land conflicts, sexual and gender-based violence, and neglect as the most common forms of abuse faced by older persons.

He noted that older individuals are often targeted due to their vulnerability and the perpetrators’ desire to exploit their status.

In addition to land disputes, the minister highlighted intergenerational disconnect as another contributing factor to elder abuse. This disconnect arises from a lack of coping mechanisms among some youths, resulting in the erosion of cultural norms and values regarding respect for elders.

Mafwabi emphasised that age-related discrimination poses a significant challenge to older persons’ exercise of their human rights.

To combat this issue, he stressed the need to raise awareness and promote respect for older individuals.

According to data from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), the country had an estimated four million older persons aged 60 and above in 2021, out of a total population of 46 million Ugandans.

The minister highlighted the importance of enhancing social inclusion and participation to boost the self-esteem of older persons.

“Enhancement of social inclusion and participation boost their esteem. We know older persons usually suffer from the effects of isolation. So, working in groups will enable them to interact more and as they grow and work together,” Mafwabi said.

He noted that older individuals often experience the effects of isolation and emphasised the benefits of working in groups, enabling them to interact and grow together.


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