Protection of the elderly: a need for activism

  • N. van Dokkum Department of Private Law, University of Natal (Durban)


The elderly are a marginalized group in society and South African law reflects this status. The law to protect elderly citizens from abuse is inadequate. This paper examines developments in the area of child protection and the resultant Child Care Act, which could provide a model for a similar programme of action to fight abuse against the elderly. United States legislation on elder abuse is discussed as a guide for developing similar legislation for South Africa. Finally, a programme of activism is proposed to bring about the necessary changes in South African law.


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