Public Prosecution: Saudi Arabia stipulates one-year jail, SR500,000 fine for elder mistreatment
Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecution has stated that the new Law to Protect the Rights of the Elderly People prescribes a penalty of up to one year’s imprisonment and a maximum fine of SR500000 for anyone found mistreating the elderly people.
In a statement on its Twitter account, the Public Prosecution has emphasized that Saudi Arabia has given the elderly people great protection and special care, and the new law governs the procedures for dealing with this precious segment of society.
The statement was issued on the occasion of the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which is observed on June 15 every year to raise awareness about the abuse and neglect of older persons, as well as to enhance awareness of the cultural, socio-economic, and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect. It also highlights the plight of elders at the hands of their relatives or members of society.
The Public Prosecution stated that the third article of the law guaranteed the elderly people the right to live with their family, and that their shelter and care were the responsibility of family members in accordance with the sequence stipulated in Article 6 of the law.
According to the Public Prosecution, Article 15 of the law emphasizes that the breadwinner of the family is prohibited from disbursing the money of the elderly without their consent. It is also not allowed to deliberately violate rules for the protection and care of the rights of the elderly people who are in need, in addition to the intentional misuse of money owed to the elderly people by those who are entrusted with the authority for its disbursement.
Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi approved earlier this month the executive regulations of the Law to Protect the Rights of the Elderly People. The law, which was approved by the Council of Ministers on Jan. 4, 2022, guarantees several privileges and discounts for Saudi citizens aged 60 years and above. There are several provisions in the law that aim at protecting the rights of elderly people and ensuring their care and welfare.
The executive regulations of the law consist of 19 explanatory articles, which include the provision of a system of support programs and aid for the elderly who have reached the age of 60 Hijri years. The services that will be provided to the elderly under the regulations include financial assistance, medical instruments, privilege cards, discounts and priorities to complete their procedures, as well as programs dedicated to improve the quality of their life.
There are provisions in the law to protect the physical and psychological rights of elderly people. The law dictates that elderly people have the right to live with their families, who in turn must respond to their needs in dignity. Under the law, it is not permitted to send an elderly man or woman to a shelter or care facility without their consent.