Former GWU official is the Commissioner for Older Persons
Former General Workers’ Union deputy president Helen Mallia has been appointed Commissioner for the Elderly following the coming into force of the Commissioner for Older Persons Act. Her term is for three years.
The announcement was made by Parliamentary Secretary for the Elderly Justyne Caruana during a press conference in which she also presented the members of the newly-established Council for Older Persons. The council will be headed by Ms Mallia.
Dr Caruana remarked that Ms Mallia, who until 2009 was GWU vice-president, was chosen on the strength of her activism as well as her trade unionistic background. She added that an expression of interest was recently issued to find adequate premises for this watchdog which would start functioning as from next year with a budget of €80,000.
By law the Commissioner’s functions include the promotion of human rights and interests of older persons, fighting discrimination, encouraging best practices, analysing the impact of decisions on elderly people and promoting compliance with United Nations principles. The Office may also investigate allegations of abuse and refer the findings to the police.
Asked about her priorities, the Commissioner did not go into details saying that her mission would be to safeguard the interests and rights of elderly people.
The other members sitting on this Council are Marvin Formosa on behalf of the National Commission for Active Ageing, Anton Cremona and Anthony Mulè Stagno on behalf of National Council of the Elderly and Brian Farrugia, Joseph Xerri and Godfrey Xuereb.