At the end of April, we responded to a European Commission’s consultation on hate speech and hate crime. The consultation aimed to assess public opinion on the inclusion of these offences on the list of EU crimes.
In our submission, we pointed to the links between ageism, hate speech against older people and elder abuse. We showed how ageism goes often unnoticed, and how it can be at the root of crimes.
We called on the EU to:
- Extend the list of EU crimes to cover hate speech and hate crime beyond the grounds currently covered by Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA. The list of EU crimes and EU legislation and initiatives to combat hate speech and hate crime should also cover the ground of age, among other discrimination grounds included under Article 19 TFEU.
- Collect data on ageism and age discrimination and hate speech and hate crime, disaggregated by age and other grounds (at a minimum gender and disability as aggravating factors).
- Involve representative organisations of older persons and victims of hate speech and hate crime in the design, implementation, monitoring and assessment of initiatives related to combatting hate speech and hate crime and in the design, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of victim support services.
- Raise awareness of the prevalence of ageism and how it can drive hate speech, violence, abuse and neglect and other forms of hate crime. This should be the key goal of an EU Age Equality Strategy, which would help to systematically address age discrimination in all EU policies.
- Ensure that the revision of the 2012 EU Directive on Victims’ Rights and the EU Victims’ Rights Strategy 2020-2025 address the barriers that older people experience to access justice. These include ageist attitudes in law enforcement and justice systems, as well as hate speech and pervasive societal ageism.
For more information you may contact Nena Georgantzi, firstname.lastname@example.org, AGE’s Human Rights Coordinator, and Borja Arrue, email@example.com, Policy Officer responsible for elder abuse.