LCQ19: Pamphlet on elder abuse

     Following is a question by the Hon Leung Kwok-hung and a written reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, in the Legislative Council today (November 3):


     In reply to the questions raised by Members of this Council on May 27 and November 11 last year and January 13 this year, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare indicated that there was no need for the Government to enact an ordinance with the same legal effect as the Protection of Children and Juveniles Ordinance (Cap 213) to protect the legal rights of the elderly.  On the other hand, the Government and the Elderly Commission made further efforts in September 2008 to implement the "Pilot Neighbourhood Active Ageing Project - Caring for Elders" mainly by adopting the three-pronged approach of education, prevention and support to prevent elder abuse and suicide.  Nevertheless, I have received complaints from quite a number of elderly support groups that the support provided for the elderly by the Social Welfare Department (SWD) is grossly inadequate.  As SWD's Family Life Education Resource Centre has persistently failed to provide enough copies of the pamphlet on "Prevention of Elder Abuse - Theatre of the Guardian Angel of the Elderly" and refused to reprint the pamphlet, frontline workers have encountered difficulties when conducting promotion and education programmes in this respect.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it has assessed if the authorities and the Elderly Commission have still pushed through the aforesaid Project even though there is insufficient funding and lack of financial means for printing the aforesaid publication;

(b) why SWD has still refused to reprint the aforesaid publication even though it was well aware that there was insufficient stock; whether the Government has investigated if maladministration is involved; if the investigation result is in the affirmative, how the Government will deal with the matter; if the investigation result is in the negative, of the reason for that; and

(c) whether SWD will expeditiously reprint the pamphlet on "Prevention of Elder Abuse - Theatre of the Guardian Angel of the Elderly"; if it will, when it will be reprinted and made available to the public; if not, the reasons for that?



     The Family Life Education Resource Centre (FLERC) under the Social Welfare Department (SWD) publishes every year a variety of publications for promoting family life education.  The pamphlet "Prevention of Elder Abuse Theatre of the Guardian Angel of the Elderly" is one such publication of FLERC.  For the purpose of enhancing the awareness of elders and the community in general of the problem of elder abuse, the pamphlet, through comics and writings, sets out the causes and forms of elder abuse and the usual responses of abused elders.  It also provides information on measures to prevent elder abuse and ways of seeking assistance.

     FLERC regularly reviews the stock of its publications and the need for reprinting depending on demand.  Since 2004, a total of 43,500 copies of the pamphlet "Prevention of Elder Abuse Theatre of the Guardian Angel of the Elderly" have been printed.  About 700 copies are currently in stock.  

     The pamphlet is of the 2005 edition and FLERC is updating its content.  Having regard to requests for provision of the pamphlet as soon as possible for distribution in activities to be held shortly, SWD will endeavour to complete the printing of the new edition in December 2010 and provide information on the updated pamphlet on the website of SWD. The relevant organisations will be welcome to collect copies of the updated pamphlet for conducting publicity and education work on the prevention of elder abuse.

Ends/Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Issued at HKT 12:20