Dubai, UAE: The Youth Council of the Supreme Legislation Committee in the Emirate of Dubai (SLC), in collaboration with the Community Development Authority’s (CDA) ‘Thukher’ team, held recently a community awareness event entitled ‘Community Outreach Gathering’, to shed light on Federal Law No. 9 of 2019 on the Rights of Senior Emiratis. The attendees of the event, which was held at Al Khawaneej Majlis, were introduced to the rights and privileges senior citizens are entitled to under the legislation in force in the Emirate. The event is part of the SLC’s ongoing efforts to promote legislative awareness to ensure proper implementation of, and compliance with, the applicable legislation.
His Excellency Ahmed Saeed bin Meshar Al Muhairi, SLC Secretary General, emphasized that the United Arab Emirates gives highest priority to protecting the rights of all the segments of the society, foremost among whom are Emirati senior citizens. “Federal Law No. 9 of 2019 on the Rights of Senior Emiratis (the “Law”) provides for the protection of the rights of senior citizens, such as protection from age discrimination, and protection from all forms of violence and abuse. The Law also provides for respectful treatment of senior Emiratis by ensuring their needs are met and their privacy is respected.”, Al Muhairi said, reiterating the commitment of Emirati legislators to establishing the legal framework that ensures utmost protection of this most cherished social group: UAE senior citizens.
Al Muhairi elaborated by saying that the Law ensures that senior citizens enjoy the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the UAE Constitution. The Law includes extensive information on the services and rights of senior citizens, and the methods of providing psychological, social and health care and stability. Mr. Al Muhairi further highlighted that the Law guarantees the rights of senior citizens, particularly, the right to independence and privacy, including the right to make decisions regarding their property, finances, and place of residence; the right to protection from violence, abuse, and negligence; and the right to an enabling and accessible environment, housing, education, and work.
Al Muhairi added that the Law focuses on benefiting from the capabilities of senior citizens and integrating them into the community with all other age groups. The Law provides for their right to access social services through senior citizens’ institutions, clubs, community centres, and mobile care units, the right to preventive and health care, the right to health insurance, home nursing care, and supporting equipment, the right to confidentiality (their information may only be disclosed in accordance with the law), and the right to preferential treatment.
Al Muhairi further emphasised the importance of enhancing the safety and wellbeing of senior citizens, and enabling them to engage in social and economic activities based on their rights and needs, adding that senior citizens are a vital strand in the social fabric that holds the Emirati community together.” It is a communal social obligation to ensure that the elderly maintain a privileged social status, and that they live in a balanced community, where they are cared for and their rights are protected; a community where senior citizens are enabled to lead their lives normally, and actively contribute to the UAE development drive.”, affirmed Al Muhairi.
For his part, Mr. Huraiz Al Mur Bin Huraiz, CEO of Social Care and Development Sector, the CDA, said: “We are grateful to the SLC Youth Council for promoting this initiative, which highlights the youth’s awareness on the importance of senior citizen’s rights and ensuring that they receive highest esteem and decent care. Federal Law No. 9 of 2019 on the Rights of Senior Emiratis constitutes the legislative and regulatory framework that protects and supports the rights of senior Emiratis. “It is of utmost importance that this Law is disseminated in an efficient manner and that community members, especially senior citizens and their caregivers, are made aware of it. The CDA has consistently collaborated with the competent entities to create widespread awareness on the rights of vulnerable categories of the society. The CDA has established a comprehensive system for the protection and support of the rights of senior citizens. The Senior Protection Hotline has been instrumental in responding to reports on cases of abuse and neglect, which are handled based on the level of severity.”, Mr. Bin Huraiz elaborated.