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Visit of the President of International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) to the Republic of Serbia


The President of International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA), Ms. Susan Somers visited Serbia between 16 and 25 May 2018. The objective of her visit was to familiarise herself with the work of INPEA representatives for Serbia, Natasa Todorovic and Dr Milutin Vracevic of the Red Cross of Serbia. Additionally, Ms. Somers had several meetings where she talked to different actors, representatives of institutions, organisations, as well as individuals, about their efforts on prevention of elder abuse in Serbia.

On 17 May Ms. Somers participated in the HumanaS network meeting and got to know more about the “Taking Action on Social Inclusion of Older People” (TASIOP) coordinated by the Red Cross of Serbia in five countries of the region with support provided by European Union, Austrian Development Agency and Austrian Red Cross. The meeting focused on presenting micro projects implemented by grassroots organisations in local communities, aimed at improving social inclusion of older people through innovative activities, as part of the TASIOP project.

The same day Ms. Somers participated in the national conference “10 Years since the Entry into Force of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – the Road towards Full Implementation”, jointly organized by the United Nations Team (UN Team for Human Rights, UN Women, UNDP, ILO, UNFPA) and the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs in Metropol Hotel.

Ms. Somers participated in the 10th International Gerontological Congress on 18 and 19 May as one of the keynote speakers and talked about violence against older women and the fact that this phenomenon still remains under-researched and under-recognised, with the legislation still not being sensitive enough to grant sufficient protection to older women. In her speech she highlighted the efforts of the civil sector in Serbia in advocating for the New UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons and appealed to all the relevant stakeholders in Serbia to be even more active and contribute to advocacy for the New Convention.

On 23 May Ms. Somers met with the Commissioner for Protection of Equality, Ms. Brankica Jankovic. They discussed the openness of member states to the adoption of the New UN Convention on the Rights of Older People and the global change of attitude, as well as the plans to mark the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, 15th June.

On 24 May a meeting was organised with Mr. Milan Markovic and Mr. RadosKeravica representing the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Serbia. Ms. Natasa Todorovic and Dr Milutin Vracevic also participated in the meeting and the discussion focused mostly on the change of legal framework related to taking away persons’ legal capacity and the need to primarily protect older persons with diagnosed dementia.

As for the future INPEA activities in Serbia, Ms. Somers discussed with national representatives a data-collection questionnaire that will be used to compare the data on elder abuse in Serbia with other countries, as well as the plans to prevent elder abuse in Serbia and new national partnerships that will contribute to better protection.