SVG to establish legislation to better protect the elderly
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April 14, 2023

SVG to establish legislation to better protect the elderly

Barbadian Attorney-at-law, Rommel St Hill contributed to creating history in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) by conducting a series of consultations to establish the first legislation for the care and protection of the elderly.

The week of consultations commenced on Monday, March 27 and concluded on Friday, March 31 at the conference room of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Co-operative Credit Union (SVGTCCU).

One representative from the programme told SEARCHLIGHT that the purpose of the consultations is for different entities from both the public and private sectors to share their concerns as it relates to the safety of the elderly, and make an input on what they would like to have included in the legislation.

“What we want is for the legislation to provide for the care and protection of the elderly. [It was a conversation] of what the other entities would like to see in the law; what do we think are the important things to cover- we would have heard of the abuse of the elderly; what do we do to protect the elderly from being abused physically, financially, emotionally; how do we provide for our elderly; elderly who have properties and their children will make them sign it over and abandon them- those are the sort of things that people would have shared. They want them to not be abused, and they don’t want them to be abandoned, so how do we protect the elderly from these things?”

The entities involved in the consultations include: The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment; Ministry of Education and National Reconciliation; Workers- inclusive of employers, trade unions and organized bodies; residential care homes and caregivers; non-governmental organizations; political party groups; and faith based organizations.

The consultations were held in collaboration with the Ministry of National Mobilisation, Social Development, the Family, Gender Affairs, Persons with Disability and Youth. The government has secured support from the World Bank-funded Human Development Service Delivery Project to establish legislation on elderly care and protection in SVG.

A release from the Ministry stated that consultant St Hill will also make visits to both private and Government run elderly care homes in SVG.

The series of consultations will be followed by a national survey to capture input from the wider population. All Vincentians are being urged to participate by completing the survey when it is published.