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Government proposes framework bill for elderly rights

Executive Council spokesman Leong Heng Teng said Thursday that the council has completed its discussion of a government-drafted bill on the framework for the protection of senior citizens’ rights.

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Less than 1 minute Minutes

Executive Council spokesman Leong Heng Teng said on Thursday that the council has completed its discussion of a government-drafted bill on the framework for the protection of senior citizens’ rights. The bill aims to create a more senior citizen friendly society.

The council is the government’s top advisory body.

Addressing a press conference at Government Headquarters, Leong noted that the number of elderly people in Macau has been rising, adding that senior citizens are forecast to account for 20.7 percent of the population in 2036.

According to official statistics, senior citizens accounted for 9.8 percent of the population at the end of last year.

After listening to opinions raised by different segments of civil society, the government drafted the framework bill on protecting the rights and interests of the elderly, “with the aim of promoting the virtue of respecting the elderly”, Leong said.

According to the Macau Post Daily the bill defines senior citizens as Macau residents aged 65 or above, comprising permanent and non-permanent residents, Leong said, adding that the government proposes the definition after referencing relevant criteria in the United Nations (UN) as well as a number of neighbouring jurisdictions.

According to Leong, the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) started the preparatory work for the drafting of the bill in 2009, adding that the bureau carried out three public consultations on the matter.

According to the bureau’s website, the last public consultation on the matter was carried out in 2012.

According to Leong, the bill lays out the statutory rights that senior citizens can enjoy as well as the legal responsibilities of those who violate the rights and interests of the elderly.

According to the bill, children are obliged to ensure that their elderly parents have enough to eat.

The bill also gives the Social Welfare Bureau the power to act as mediator in conflict situations between senior citizens and their families, such as over the alleged lack of food, clothes, accommodation and transport.

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