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The Acting Ombudsperson: Treatment of elderly people in Kosovo – far from standards of dignity

Acting Ombudsperson visited the Nursing Home in Prishtina during International Day of older persons.
Although there have been efforts to improve the general conditions of elderly people in Kosovo, their current position in Kosovan society can only be described as distressing.
Apart from the lack of financial life support for about 130.000 of them and proper social welfare, elderly people in Kosovo are not receiving proper attention from the governmental bodies at a central and local level.
Elderly people are a valuable part of our society and should be treated as such. Also, a more appropriate environment should be created that would provide more dignified living conditions for all elderly people, said Acting Ombudsperson Mr. Hilmi Jashari.

During a visit to a nursing home in Prishtinë/Priština, on the occasion of the International Day of the Elderly, the Acting Ombudsperson was directly informed about these people’s conditions under the public care system. He was also informed about the problems faced by both parties.

The director of the nursing home in Prishtinë/Priština, Ms. Raze Aliqkaj, expressed her satisfaction with the commitment of the Ministry of Social Welfare to this nursing home, which cares for 108 persons, 15 of which are of minority communities. The Acting Ombudsperson however considers that measures should be taken for the adequate treatment of these people with special needs and disabilities as well as for a financial contribution, which should be provided to all those meeting the criteria set out by law based on what they are entitled to.

Mr. Jashari said that enhancing the welfare of elderly people is indispensable and can be achieved only once a complete participation of elderly people in the democratic process is possible.

The Acting Ombudsperson requests that the government and local authorities,
non-governmental organizations and volunteers contribute to the support and care of elderly people within the family or community. The government also needs to develop programmes stimulating voluntary activities.

At the same time, the Acting Ombudsperson requests that local and central authorities enable active participation of elderly people in the drafting and implementation of policies, including such policies that have a particular impact on their lives.
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