FIJI for the first time celebrated World Elder Abuse Awareness Day since the United Nations declared June 15 as its official day of celebration.
Lovu HART Village in Lautoka was the site of the inauguration of the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2012.
Fiji Council of Social Service (FCOSS) executive director Mohammed Hassan Khan was chief guest at the event themed Respect the elderly Family Pride and National Asset.
Mr Khan said FCOSS was proud of the event as finally the plight of the elderly was being heard.
FCOSS and HelpAge Fiji which is partnered with UK-based HelpAge International were the first organisations in the world to celebrate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. A statement from FCOSS said both groups were proud to mark the event as they had been advocating against the abuse of the elderly and for policies on the elderly for over 20 years.
FCOSS is also the first non-governmental organisation to launch programs like Care of the Elderly and HelpAge Fiji.
Mr Khan said FCOSS had been advocating against the abuse of the elderly through Age Demands Action (ADA).
He said FCOSS was also raising awareness on the urgent need of a National Policy for older persons and actively engaged in establishing National Council for Older Persons in Fiji.
The latest developments for FCOSS include HelpAge International establishing HELPAGE PACIFIC NETWORK and the extension of programs for the elderly and advocacy for the elderly in the Pacific. Mr Khan confirmed the moves were following FCOSSs management board approval after the Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Myanmar last month.