The proportion of older persons in the world is increasing due to the gradual decline in death rates and rise in life expectancy, catching many governments totally unprepared. In South Sudan, the number of older persons was projected to increase by 1.1% of the total population in 2016 (UNDESA 2016). Even though there has been an upsurge in the population of the older persons, there exists little social and legal protection for them, becoming more vulnerable to abuse and neglect. The constitution recognizes the rights of older persons, however, there is need for adequate laws and policies to protect these rights and ensure their needs and concerns are addressed. This paper recognizes vulnerability of the older persons, highlights basic elderly rights and advocates for special treatment and full realization of their rights. It also draws a number of lessons from other countries such as Kenya, South Africa, India, and Mauritius, offering useful insights for South Sudan. Finally, the paper advocates for a timely formulation of policies and laws for the protection of older persons in South Sudan.
The Sudd Institute is an independent research organization that conducts and facilitates research and training to inform public policy and practice, to create opportunities for discussion and debate, and to improve analytical capacity in South Sudan. The Sudd Institute’s intention is to significantly improve the quality, impact, and accountability of local, national, and international policy and decision-making in South Sudan in order to promote a more peaceful, just and prosperous society.