11th OEWG – Strengthening the Protection of the Human Rights of Older Persons – 25 September, 2019

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“Moving from commitments to results: transforming public institutions to facilitate inclusive policy formulation and integration in the implementation and monitoring of the sustainable development goals”

Subitems:

1. Ensuring prioritization and decision-making that is fair, responsive, inclusive, participatory and accountable at all levels.

2. Improving engagement and communication between Governments and stakeholders, including through access to information, open government and electronic and mobile solutions.

Written statements for the 11th session of OEWG for NGOs with ECOSOC consultative status

September 25, 2019

In response to an open call for written statements, NABU-Knowledge Transfer Beyond Boundaries would like to make the following suggestions pertaining to “Access to Justice” in the context of older persons. The World Health Organization estimates that the number of people on earth, aged 60 years and older is likely to reach around 2 billion in 2050.1 As the world’s population ages, it is important to prioritize the role of SDGs in supporting and empowering the world’s elderly. NABU-Knowledge Transfer Beyond Boundaries supports providing the elderly access to justice and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions that are responsive to their needs. This population is too often the target of financial crimes. In the United States, financial fraud against this demographic quadrupled between 2013 and 2017.2 Using and applying ICT on a government level promotes awareness and seeks to ameliorate these risks. Many victims do not report these crimes.3 By spotlighting this problem, the hope is that victims will be empowered to come forward. In instances where such crimes are reported, NABU- Knowledge Transfer Beyond Boundaries urges countries that do not currently maintain such statistics, to begin to compile information in an attempt to understand the nature and scope of these types of crimes on a country wide level. NABU-Knowledge Transfer Beyond Boundaries also encourages both private enterprises and government entities to help fund initiatives in member states lacking the funds to compile this information, especially with regards to low income countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa which currently compile little data in this area.4 Countries where this evidence is collected are urged to disseminate this information widely and share it on a global level. Open access to this type of government information through open information and data platforms, will allow the elderly and their families to minimize their exposure to known financial schemes.5 Initiatives educating the public about financial crimes should also be promoted both by governments and the private sector. Such educational initiatives allow vulnerable groups, including older adults, to better protect themselves and their families. In addition, collaboration between governments along with public-private partnerships that support the elderly and their families can utilize ICT to provide education promoting informed financial decision making. Educational initiatives supporting this demographic’s interactions with new technology are also useful, as they allow this population to better understand current trends in ICT and will therefore limit the impact of those frauds which rely on a victim’s lack of technological savvy. Technology can also be used by family members to monitor an elderly individual’s credit and back accounts and can be used to pay bills or place limits on spending or holds on withdrawals or payments. Finally, should a crime occur, open data platforms can promote accessibility to victim advocacy groups, those groups that support best practices and accommodate the needs of this population should be utilized.6

NABU-Knowledge Transfer Beyond Boundaries

1 – “Elder Abuse: Key Facts,” World Health Organization, 8 June 2018, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/ detail/elder-abuse.

2 – Martin, Ray. “Elder fraud is growing rapidly. Here’s how to detect and stop it.” CBS News, 31 May 2019, https:// www.cbsnews.com/news/elder-financial-abuse-is-rapidly-growing-how-to-detect-and-stop-it/.

3 – Holland, Kelley. “These scammers are targeting your elderly parents.” CNBC News, 17 February 2015, https:// www.cnbc.com/2015/02/17/these-scammers-are-targeting-your-elderly-parents.html.

4 – “Elder Abuse: Key Facts,” World Health Organization, 8 June 2018, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/ detail/elder-abuse.

5 – “Report Scams and Frauds: Learn how to identify and report frauds and scams,” 28 February 2019, .https:// www.usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds

6 – “About the Task Force,” Stop Fraud. Gov, 6 December 2018, USA.gov, https://www.justice.gov/archives/ stopfraud-archive/about-task-force

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