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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

#ElderlyRights: It's Time to Act!

"Older persons are invaluable sources of knowledge and experience and have much to contribute towards peace, sustainable development, and protecting our planet."

– UN Secretary-General António Guterres

On the 33rd United Nations International Day of Older Persons, the focus is clear: "Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons: Across Generations." This day was designed to highlight the unique needs and rights of older individuals worldwide while addressing violations and advocating for stronger solidarity among generations.

🇹🇭 Thailand's Elderly: A Call for Change

As the world celebrates the #InternationalDayofOlderPersons on October 1st, Thai seniors continue to face challenges accessing rights, protection from abuse, and adequate support, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, an alarming indicator of the effect a health crisis can have on this segment of the population. Elderly rights are all the more central to human rights advocacy, as Thailand's population ages rapidly, with the elderly projected to comprise around 30% by 2035.

🔍Let's together investigate and amplify #WhatsHappeningInThailand to demand #ElderlyRights!

✍️According to our joint UPR Submission on #ElderlyRights, Thailand still faces many challenges:

▶️Legal Gaps: The limited national legislation safeguarding elderly rights is insufficiently enforced, leading the elderly to face severe violations of their rights and be subject to discrimination and violence.

▶️Retirement Rights: Although employees have the legal right to retire at 60, it remains unfulfilled, most people lacking adequate savings, access to retirement plans and pension schemes, making them “choose” to continue working.

▶️Inadequate Support: An unequivocal reason why people often have to keep working past retirement age lies in Thailand’s insufficient pensions and allowances schemes, which gives them no alternative but to continue working to sustain themselves.

▶️Access to Care: Necessary care access is limited due to both a lack of skilled personnel and facilities failing to meet senior healthcare needs, particularly alarming as Thailand should expect 500,000 bedridden elders by 2050.

▶️Abuse: Neglect and abuse are more prevalent in aging populations as they need others to care for them. This can range from inadequate care and theft, to physical and psychological abuse.

▶️Infrastructure: Public infrastructure, particularly in Bangkok, is impractical if not inaccessible for older people or persons with limited mobility. In addition the lack of effective and affordable transportation in rural areas further marginalizes the elderly’s access to healthcare services.

▶️Employment Discrimination: Elderly individuals, especially women, face discrimination in employment, which acts as a double challenge to the exercise of their basic rights, as they are often unable to claim retirement and struggle to find work past a certain age.

▶️Mental Health: Thailand’s high suicide rate, coupled with social stigma around mental health issues, pushes older people at the edges of society when it comes to seeking help and assistance, resulting in insufficient support networks available.

▶️Climate Change: The Thai government’s inaction in addressing climate change increases the vulnerability of the elderly, putting them at the forefront of the crisis.

▶️Access to Justice: Elderly individuals often lack access to justice and effective remedies when their rights are violated.

👁️ We notice that many of the challenges faced by elderly people in Thailand are intersectional, combining factors of health, gender, age, socio-economic background, and status.

💪For this reason, at Manushya Foundation, we will continue to advocate for an intersectional feminist approach to promote and protect #ElderlyRights for ALL! ⭐

📣 Our Call to Action:

We call upon the Thai government to provide and ensure:

✓ Fair Pensions and Proper Care 🏥

✓ Legal Protection against Abuse and Discrimination ⚖️

✓ Support and Assistance during Future Pandemics 🧑‍⚕️

Let's stand up for our elders and advocate for the rights they deserve! 👴👵

#WeAreManushyan ♾ Equal Human Beings

👉 Access the UPR Advocacy Factsheet on Elderly Rights here.

👉 Access our Joint UPR Submission on Elderly Rights In Thailand here.

References ⤵️


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