Jakarta – The Social Affairs Ministry hosted a virtual event to celebrate the 24th National Day for Elderly People on Friday.
"The celebration was conducted virtually to comply with physical-distancing procedures amid the COVID-19 pandemic," the ministry's social rehabilitation director general, Harry Hikmat, said as quoted by Antara.
During the event, the ministry pushed for a revision of Law No. 13/1998 on elderly welfare, which is regarded as outdated and needing to be improved to accommodate the problems encountered by elderly people nowadays.
Harry hoped that the revised law could be included in this year's priority legislation list (Prolegnas).
In addition to that, the ministry also paid special attention to the elderly by providing them with various kinds of social assistance, including staple-food packages and cash aid. Indonesia has over 23 million senior citizens.
A 2015 report from the United Nations, titled "World Population Ageing", projected that the number of people 60 years old and above in the country would reach 39 million in 2030, 13.2 percent of the population, and 61.8 million in 2050, 19.2 percent.
Many senior citizens live with their families, some of them have the potential for being abused behind closed doors, however such cases remain unreported.
The World Health Organization estimates that up to 80 percent of cases of elder abuse are not reported.
The government has made efforts to provide legal protection, as stipulated in Law No. 23/2004 on the elimination of domestic violence as well as Law No. 13/1998 on elderly welfare. However, there are few details on the implementation of these laws.
Law No. 23/2004 prohibits negligence of the elderly within the household, while Law No. 13/1998 states that the family are responsible for the welfare of the elderly.
However, neither law includes details on rights for the elderly or the protection of their interests and intentions. (vny)