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Lazarus Chakwera ratifies protocol on older persons

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President Lazarus Chakwera has ratified the African Union Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa.

The instrument of accession, which we have seen, indicates that Chakwera signed the protocol on April 12 2021, which is a sign of commitment to protecting and upholding the rights of older persons.

Some of the specific rights covered under the protocol are access to justice, equal protection before the law and right to make decisions and protection against discrimination in employment.

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The protocol was concluded and adopted on January 31 2016 by the 26th ordinary session of assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and left to member states to sign, ratify and accede.

“It is the wish of the Government of Malawi to accede to the protocol. I, Dr Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, for and on behalf of the Republic of Malawi do hereby notify and confirm, in accordance with article 25 paragraph 1, that the Republic of Malawi accedes to the protocol,” the communication reads.

The protocol provides for the recognition and protection of the rights of older persons.

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Speaking in an interview Wednesday, State House Press Secretary Brian Banda said the Chakwera administration had the welfare of older persons, not just in Malawi but in Africa, at heart.

Meanwhile, Malawi Network for Older Persons Organisations (Manepo) has hailed the President’s move, saying it is reflective of the government’s willingness to strengthen policy and legal formulations.

In a statement, Manepo Executive Director Andrew Kavala says the steady increase in the population of older persons has been the driving force behind efforts aimed at passing laws that protect elderly people’s rights.

“We have every reason to applaud the President for signing the protocol. This action demonstrates, beyond measure, his government’s commitment towards the creation of ‘Malawi wokomera tonse’,” Kavala says.

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