30 April 2019


Scientific-Organizational Committee:

Prof. Jolanta Mackowicz, Ph.D.(Pedagogical University of Cracow, INPEA National Representative of Poland)

Susan Somers  (INPEA  President, USA)

Prof.  Ariela Lowenstein (Center for Research & Study of Aging, Haifa University, Israel)

Silvia Perel-Levin, (Chair of the NGO Comimittee On Ageing at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland)

Professor  Marie Beaulieu, Ph. D, School of Social Work at U. of Sherbrooke,Canada;  Chairholder, Research Chair on mistreatment of older adults

Joanna Wnek-Gozdek, Ph.D. (Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland)

Ewa Sliwa, Ph.D.( Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland)

Edyta Pindel, PH.D. (Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland)

Artur Fabis, Ph.D. (Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland)

Anna Mroz, Ph.D. (Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland)

Nataša Todorović, MPH , (Health and Care Program Manager, Red Cross, Serbia)

Anna Okońska-Walkowicz, Ph.D.(Department of Social Policy, Cracow City, Poland)

Paulina Koperna, Mgr  (Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland)



Rio Hada – Team Leader, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Mr. Hada is currently coordinating the work of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in the area of economic and social rights.  He also leads the work of OHCHR on the human rights of older persons, and serves as the joint secretariat with United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) for the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing established by the General Assembly with the mandate to strengthen the protection of human rights of older persons.  Since joining OHCHR in 2000, he has worked on a variety of mandates related to the right to development and economic and social rights including housing, food, water & sanitation, education, poverty and foreign debt.  Over the past several years, he led OHCHR’s human rights mainstreaming agenda in the UN system and coordinated UN interagency efforts to integrate human rights in the UN development system and to promote human rights-based implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Prior to OHCHR, he served in several UN offices including the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in New York and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok.  He holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University in New York.


Silvia Perel-Levin – the Chair of the NGO Committee on Ageing at the UN in Geneva. She is also member of the Steering groups of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP) and the Stakeholder Group on Ageing. An advocate for the human rights of older persons, she interacts with governments, the Human Rights Council, other human rights mechanisms and with UN agencies on issues related to ageing and older persons. Silvia focuses on violence against older women and men and the intersections of gender, age and disability. Silvia has an MSc in Inter-professional Practice (health sciences, society, violence and practice) from City, University of London. She has been working in the fields of ageing, health and human rights for over 20 years at the WHO, UICC and as an independent consultant.



Claudia Mahler has been working for the German Institute for Human Rights as a senior researcher in the field of economic, social and cultural rights since 2010 one of her main topics are the human  rights of older persons. She is part of the GANHRI working group on older persons human rights. She has conducted research on human rights and related issues at the Human Rights Centre of the University of Potsdam (2001-2009). During her work in Potsdam her main research fields were human rights education, minority rights and the law of asylum. From 1997-2001 she held the position of an assistant at the Leopold-Franzens-University Innsbruck, Austria in the field of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedures. She was appointed as Vice President of the Human Rights Commission for Tyrol and Vorarlberg by the Austrian Ministry of Interior from 2000-2002. She has also worked as a lecturer in the field of human rights law and as a consultant to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. She received her doctoral degree in 2000.


Dr. Yongjie Yon – Officer at the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe. He works in the area of Violence and Injury Prevention as well as Healthy Ageing. He supports the coordination of a number of programmatic topics including age-friendly environments in Europe, child maltreatment, road safety and child injury. Dr. Yon’s academic, professional and personal outlook revolves around a pivotal theme that the most fundamental right of seniors is the right to feel safe and free from potential abuse. He has published in leading academic journals on research relating to public health including ageism, elder abuse, child maltreatment, intergenerational relations, oral health, housing and health disparities. He was a Doctoral Fellow with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and received his PhD in Gerontology from the University of Southern California, United States. Prior to WHO, Dr. Yon worked for the Federal Government of Canada as a Policy Analyst.


Prof. Emerita Ariela Lowenstein (University of Haifa Israel) Dept. of Gerontology & Head Social Gerontology, Center for Research & Study of Aging. Lowenstein was a faculty member at Social Work School and created the Graduate Dept. and the Research Center at Haifa Univ about 20 years ago. Served for 4 years, between 2012-2016, as President, Max Stern Yezreel Academic College. Co-chairing the International Aging Research Center. She publishes extensively, having more than 250 publications – 2 Hebrew books and 1 English: Generational Intelligence”; co-editor of 3 English books. Recipient of numerous competitive research grants, prestigious scholarships, national and international awards. Reputed as a leading national and international expert in aging, family relations and elder abuse, serving on various boards and advisory committees in Israel and abroad. She has an MA in Public Administration, New York University, US; a PhD in Sociology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Research areas: Intergenerational family relations, caregiving, elder abuse and elders’ exclusion, policy development.


Wang Shaozhong – Vice President of the China National Committee on Ageing (CNCA). He has held numerous senior positions within China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs and the China National Working Commission on Ageing, an advisory and coordinating organ of the State Council. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Renmin University of China




Andrew Byrnes – Professor of Law at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He teaches and writes in the fields of public international law, human rights, and international criminal/humanitarian law. His work includes publications on women’s human rights, gender and human rights, national human rights institutions, economic and social rights, peoples’ tribunals and international law, and the incorporation of human rights in domestic law. He has served as external legal adviser to the Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, and was involved in the drafting of the CEDAW Optional Protocol and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He is currently working with the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions as an adviser in the current UN General Assembly discussions on a possible new international instrument on the human rights of older persons.


Natasa Todorovic – psychologist and a Master of Public Health focusing on ageing, human rights of older people and elder abuse in her professional career. She is an accredited educator of volunteers in palliative care and a certified trainer for Psychosocial Support and Sexual gender based violence. She has been working for the Red Cross of Serbia since 2001 on programmes and research related to human rights of older people, elder abuse and advocacy for better quality of life of older people. She has been active in setting up a national network of organisations working with older people, HumanaS, promoting the global advocacy campaign for the new United Nations’ convention on older people rights as well as in helping coordinate Older people’s Civil Society Dialogue in the Western Balkans. She is a member of The Global Alliance – For the Rights of Older People (GAROP). She is Member of the Governmental Council of Aging, the Governmental Council for Intergenerational Solidarity and Vice-President of the Gerontological society of Serbia. She is Co-representative for Republic of Serbia in the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. She is Regional Representative for Europe of International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse. Since 2018 she is a member of the HelpAge International network governance task force advising the HAI governing board. She co-chaired the HelpAge International Working Group on analysis and recommendations on the international campaign Age Demands Action in 2017. In 2018 she has been awarded the International Rosalie S. Wolf Award in Elder Abuse Prevention, by INPEA. She is a co-author of ten publications on ageing-related topics and multiple scientific papers.


Milutin Vracevic – medical doctor and a Master of Public Health  focusing on ageing, human rights of older people and elder abuse in his professional career. He is an accredited educator of volunteers in palliative care and a certified trainer for Psychosocial Support and Sexual gender based violence. He has been working for the Red Cross of Serbia since 2001 on programmes and research related to human rights of older people, elder abuse and advocacy for better quality of life of older people. He is one of the founders of HumanaS network and is also a Serbian co-representative in the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) as well as a member of The Global Alliance – For the Rights of Older People (GAROP). He is a supervisory board member of the Gerontological society of Serbia and was a member of the Governmental Council of Aging from 2006 to 2013. In 2013 he took part in the expert meeting organised by UNDSA “Abuse of older women” and was a panel discussion participant at the fifth session of the Open Ended Working Group on Ageing with the topic “Financial abuse of women” in 2014 in the UN Headquarters in New York. In 2018 he has been awarded the International Rosalie S. Wolf Award in Elder Abuse Prevention, by INPEA. He is a co-author of ten publications on ageing-related topics and multiple scientific papers.


Anna Chabiera – sociologist, expert in Department of Equal Treatment in the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Warsaw (National Human Rights Institution, Poland), where since 2011 she organizes social research on discrimination based on grounds of disability, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity and beliefs. Her tasks enclose monitoring the state’s policy development on ageing society.





Anna Szafranek – PhD in Sociology, specialisation: Social Gerontology, adjunct in the Department of Law and Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the Lomza State University of Applied Sciences, member of the Polish research group within three international projects DAPHNE III covering the topic of violence towards elderly women, author/co-author of numerous publications. Contact: annaszafranek01@gmail.com


Małgorzata Halicka – professor of the University of Białystok, PhD in Sociology, specialisation: Social Gerontology, head of the Department of Sociology of Education and Social Gerontology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Białystok, head of the research project: “Violence towards the elderly people in Poland on the example of research in the Podlaskie voivodship”, coordinator of the Polish research group within three international projects DAPHNE III covering the topic of violence towards elderly women, author/co-author of numerous publications in Gerontology, Sociology of Old Age. Contact: m.halicka@uwb.edu.pl


dr hab. Beata Bugajska, prof. US – Associate Professor of Social Sciences in the field of Pedagogy (2016). Place of work: Faculty of Social Pedagogy at the University of Szczecin. Since 2016 – head of the Department of Social Issues of Szczecin’s City Hall. Research interests: social pedagogy, social gerontology, social assistance, and social work. Vice Chairperson of the Board of the Main Polish Association of Gerontology. Author of over 60 titles, including, among others: Identity in old age. A sociopedagogical study  (Szczecin 2005) (in Polish: Tożsamość człowieka w starości: Studium socjopedagogiczne); The Future Time Perspective in Old Age (Szczecin 2012) (in Polish: Przyszłościowa perspektywa czasowa w starości) [co-author]; Time Travel. The Workshop for Personal Growth of the Elderly  (in Polish): Podróż w czasie Warsztat rozwoju osobistego osób starszych (Szczecin 2014)  [co-author]. This title was awarded the Theophrastus Prize for best popular-science book in psychology for the year 2015; Laureat of the West Pomeranian Nobel Prize for an article: “The Ninth Stage in the Cycle of Life – Reflections on E.H. Erikson’s Theory”, Ageing & Society, 37, 2017. Contact: bbugajska@um.szczecin.pl


Małgorzata Łyżwińska-Kustra – since 2005,  has been employed as Leading Specialist at the Municipal Social Welfare Center in Krakow. For over 8 years, as a coordinator in MOPS, she has been responsible for the field of counteracting domestic violence. She cooperates with institutions and organizations from the Krakow area as member of the Interdisciplinary Team for Counteracting Domestic Violence, additionally co-runs a support group for women experiencing domestic violence.


 Jolanta Maćkowicz-Associate Professor with 15-years work experience (after Ph.D) at the Pedagogical University of Cracow in Poland and short-term stays at different universities in Europe. INPEA National Representative and Member of Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA) Durham University, UK. Independent expert of European Commission Research Programme HORIZON 2020. Research interests: social and educational gerontology, social pedagogy, family science. Author over than 40 publications (among other the monography: Osoby starsze jako ofiary przemocy domowej. Ujęcie wiktymologiczne (2015) (in English Older people as victims of domestic violence. Victimological approach).


Susan B. Somers, JD (USA) -President  International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. Ms. Somers earned a Law Degree in 1984 from Albany Law School, Albany NY, and holds a Certificate of Gerontology Studies. For two decades her practice areas concentrated on Civil Rights, Family and Elder Issues, i.e. Guardianship and Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution. She served as Assist. Deputy Attorney General for the State of New York, Consumer Frauds Bureau and Elder Protection Unit. She has expertise in Financial Exploitation of the Elderly and has developed and delivered numerous trainings to Financial Institutions, Law Enforcement, and Older Persons themselves. She also served as State Director of the NYS OCFS Bureau of Adult Services. She is currently President of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, (INPEA), an International NGO with special consultative status at the UN, which launched the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, 2006. Her focus is on promoting older person’s human rights to end abuse, neglect and violence globally, through advocacy with UN Member States and International NGO’s. She has an interest in addressing harmful cultural and traditional practices, and raising awareness relative to supporting older persons capacity to remain autonomous and independent. She co-chairs the NGO Comm. on Ageing, NY, Sub-committee to Promote a New Conventiom. The Sub-committee strives to support NGO’s effective involvement in the UN Open Ended Working Group on Ageing.


Prabhat Kiran Pradhan, Alzheimers and Related Dementia Society Nepal (ARDS-Nepal)  and activist of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People

Prabhat Kiran Pradhan is a founder member and Executive Treasurer of the Alzheimer and Related Dementia Society in Nepal (ARDS-Nepal). He has extensive knowledge of mental health issues having worked as a mental health consultant and social worker. He is a co-author of a book on mental health and has published various papers and articles in daily newspapers and magazines and has spoken at many conferences on this subject. Prabhat is responsible for conducting training for both family and professional caregivers. He is also a mental health first aid instructor and works directly with people who have a mental illness.

Prabhat is a strong advocate for the rights of older people living with dementia. He has organised several rallies and programmes to influence the government in Nepal to strengthen their policies and the protection of older people living with dementia, including access to medicine and stricter action against the perpetrators of abuse.

Prabhat is a trained activist of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP). He was one of 16 older activists from Africa and Asia who participated in GAROP’s first training programme in November 2018 and are committed to campaigning together for a new UN convention on the rights of older people.


Pille Tsopp-Pagan (Finland) is a board member and co-founder of the Tartu Women’s Shelter in 2002, which at the time was the first domestic violence shelter in the Baltics. For the past 7 years, she has served as its Executive Director, working to rebrand the organization as the Women’s Support and Information Center (WSIC), a more internationally-oriented organization that participates in policy analysis and advocacy, research and education. In this role she has managed national and international projects supported by EU Justice, Erasmus and other funders. Last year, she helped to write the 2007-2014 shadow report on Estonia to UN CEDAW and presented it to the CEDAW Committee in Geneva. Within Estonia, she has advocated for changes to the penal code and worked with policy makers to bring the country in line with the Istanbul Convention. In addition to this, she has over twenty years of experience in financial management of both nonprofit and for-profit firms. She has managed the finances for dozens of international projects and for several large and small organizations.


Professor  Marie Beaulieu, Ph. D.

Marie Beaulieu Ph. D. (Applied Human Sciences), M.Sc. and B.Sc. (Criminology) is a full professor at the School of Social Work of the University of Sherbrooke and a researcher at the Research Centre on Aging at the CIUSSS Estrie-CHUS. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She has accumulated 27 years of experience as a university professor. Since November, 2010, she has held the position of Research Chair on Mistreatment of Older Adults financed by the Québec Government. Since July, 2017, she is co-directing, with Suzanne Garon, a center affiliated with the World Health Organisation (WHO) at the Research Centre on Aging at the CIUSSS Estrie-CHUS specialised on Age-friendly communities and countering mistreatment.

The principal focus of her 30-year career has been countering mistreatment, the sense of security of older adults, ethics, aging and end-of-life care. She was also active in the implementation of the World Health Organization’s Global Age-friendly Cities project in Québec using a community development approach which favours the participation of various stakeholders including older adults’ association. It is in the field of mistreatment that she has left her mark.

Over her career, she has obtained more than 50 grants as principal researcher and more than 40 as a collaborating researcher. These funds, from various sources, came from large, well-known grant organizations in Québec and Canada, or from ministries or foundations. She has produced 400 written works and pronounced more than 370 conferences as an invited speaker and is the author of more than 360 scientific exposés.

She promotes the development of clinical and pedagogical tools (including the practice guide “In Hand,” the Factual Quiz on mistreatment of older adults, the Practical Guide on Intersystem Duo Practice Between Police Officers and Community Practitioners to Counter Elder Abuse and a practice guide on Help seeking after being mistreated or bullied) and collaboration in developing public policies to ensure the increased well-being of older adults (six commitments with the Seniors’ Secretariat).

Between 2010-2018, Marie Beaulieu has occupied the position of North American representative at the INPEA (International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse). She still represents INPEA at the United Nations and she became a fellow of INPEA in 2018. Since 2017, she has been a member of the Scientific and Training Commission of the National School of Police in Québec. Between 2013 and 2018, she has served on the Board of the National Seniors’ Counsel of Canada. She teaches and supervises at the Bachelor and Master’s levels in Social Work as well as the Doctorate level in Gerontology at University of Sherbrooke, in addition to training practising practitioners and various groups of the public in Quebec, Canada and internationally.

Mgr Barbara Leśniak – Specialist in the field of Criminal Prevention, Minors and Pathology  in the Department of the Prevention of the Municipal Police in Nowy Sącz. For 20 years she has been serving in the Police. Since 2002 she has been involved in tasks related with the problems of minors and pathology, and in particular, she implements and coordinates issues related to counteracting domestic violence and the “Blue Card” procedure.

She conducts substantive supervision over the issue of the “Blue Card” procedure, conducts thematic trainings related to the above issue, provides all necessary assistance to police officers in the implementation of the “Blue Card” procedure, and cooperates with institutions that help people affected by domestic violence.

Magdalena Rutkiewicz – graduate of the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Warsaw and Warsaw School of Economics, certified specialist for counteracting domestic violence (Blue Line certificate), for 15 years associated with the non-governmental sector. Since 2014, she has been managing the Senior Project Foundation, which is one of the most important areas of action to counteract violence against the elderly. Coordinator of social campaigns on violence against the elderly and a program to help elderly people experiencing violence, which the foundation has been running in Warsaw since 2016.