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Saudi Labor Ministry drafts law to protect the elderly

15 April 17

Arab News

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development on Wednesday announced a draft law protecting the rights of the elderly, two days after it found an old man locked up in a homemade jail created by his sons.

Khaled Abalkhail, the ministry’s spokesman, said the man was found “in a very poor condition.”

Makkah police arrested the eldest son, 37, who was referred to authorities.

On Twitter, the ministry called on those with experience and interest in social affairs to give their feedback on the draft before next Tuesday, saying it will include all those aged 60 or above, and those showing signs of premature aging.

“The law allows an elderly person to choose the party to take care of them if he or she could not be independent. They cannot be dealt with otherwise unless by a court order,” said the tweet.

“The law also gives them the right to be independent and the freedom to handle themselves and their money, and decide who to provide for.”

The ministry said the priority is the elderly person’s family regarding care-taking.
If the family cannot do so, competent authorities will step in, it added. People on social media have been expressing anger over a video of the father locked in a room with the door chained.

Cases of people assaulting their parents have risen recently. Haila Al-Oraini was murdered by her two sons last year.
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