The grandparents’ foundation is calling for a legal framework that would allow grandparents access to their grandchildren.

Addressing parliamentarians and grandparents in Parliament this morning, Fondazzjoni Nanniet Malta’s founder Philip Chircop said there were elderly people deprived of seeing their grandchildren, usually because of some squabble between the parents.

“We need a legal framework to fight off this pain experienced by several grandparents. We need to safeguard the right of grandchildren and grandparents to see each other. Sometimes, during separation and divorce proceedings, grandchildren are often used as a threat or weapon, even against grandparents,” Mr Chircop said. 

Mr Chircop addressed parliament ahead of grandparents' day, which will be celebrated this coming Sunday. Photo: Sarah CarabottMr Chircop addressed parliament ahead of grandparents' day, which will be celebrated this coming Sunday. Photo: Sarah Carabott


The foundation, he insisted during the special sitting this morning, will not tolerate behaviour that does not uphold the dignity of grandparents.

Mr Chircop was speaking ahead of grandparents’ day, which in Malta will be celebrated on Sunday, following the approval of both sides of the House of Representatives.

Addressing the same session, Dr Miriam Camilleri from the Mental Health Commisioner’s Office appealed for support to grandparents who were the primary carers of grandchildren.

Research has shown that grandparents who take on parental roles are more likely to suffer depression. She called for a balance, because at the same time, it had been proven that grandparents who interact with their grandchildren were less likely to develop mental health issues.

Malta’s first parliamentary secretary for the elderly, John Rizzo Naudi, urged fellow elderly people to remain active and take up voluntary work, warning that life-expectancy was still on the increase. 

 

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