The degree of respect for the rights of the elderly, discrimination and violence against the elderly, as well as whether they recognize and how they react to violence, were all topics talked about at today's workshop in Aleksandrovac, organized by the association "Strength of Friendship – Amity" from Belgrade and the Protector of Citizens for the elderly local population and representatives of the local health centre.
The participants of the workshop stated that the biggest problems of the elderly in Aleksandrovac were difficult access to health care services, lack of the service of housewives for the elderly and the service of the home for the elderly. As they state, violence against the elderly is present, but it is rarely reported due to the rooted stereotypes and prejudices, as well as that better cooperation with the Centre for Social Work and the local self-government is needed.
Borjana Peruničić from the institution of the Protector of Citizens pointed out that this institution can initiate changes in regulations, but that it also handles individual cases on citizens' complaints or on its own initiative, and called on senior citizens to contact the Protector of Citizens if they believe their rights are endangered.
Nadežda Satarić from the association "Strength of Friendship – Amity" pointed out that research shows that in Serbia, most elderly people feel discriminated against primarily in access to social and health care services and public services, and every fifth person has experienced some form of violence. Violence among the elderly is still treated as a family matter, so it is not necessary to seek protection for the victims. The most common is psychological and economic violence, as well as neglect. Satarić added that in the previous year, every third woman killed was over 60 years old.
The event was realized within the project "Improving the security of women in Serbia", implemented by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior of Serbia and with the support of the Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade.