Brussels, Belgium – 09 December 2022
In the context of Human Rights Day on 10 December, AGE Platform Europe is releasing its 2-page summary of the EU Age Equality Strategy. Our proposal to an EU Age Equality Strategy is a follow-up to the EU Green Paper on Ageing that aims to provide policymakers with actions and measures to meet EU’s demographic challenges.
‘‘Older people should not be regarded as a burden to society. They are part of it and contribute to it and their rights must be equally respected, protected, and fulfilled. As the older generations of today and tomorrow, we have the duty to make sure that every one of us can live in a world of dignity, freedom and justice, no matter our age”.
Maciej Kucharczyk, Secretary-General of AGE Platform Europe
According to the World Health Organization Regional Committee for Europe, the number of people aged 65+ will exceed the number of people younger than 15 years in 2024. The 80+ population is the fastest growing age group. To answer these demographic developments, we need a political strategy to ensure the social inclusion and participation of the older generations of today and tomorrow.
Seventy-four years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaiming that human rights are inalienable and that everyone is entitled to as a human being. Yet, in Europe, the rights of older people are too often ignored and violated. Older people face ageism and age discrimination in various fields. For example, older unemployed people are the least likely to find a job and most at risk of long-term unemployment. In the field of care, older people may be deprioritised, face insufficient and inadequate care, maltreatment, and neglect. The lack of consistent measures at EU level to condemn ageism and age discrimination, including during crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic, have devastating effects on the everyday lives of older people.
Currently in the EU, there is not a political strategy to protect the rights of older people. The existing EU Employment Framework Directive only protects from age discrimination in the field of employment and vocational training. This is far from being enough.
We need political actions now to fill the current gap in anti-discrimination legislation and ensure a brighter future to the EU ageing population. Our proposal for an EU Age Equality Strategy recommends possible actions in that direction.
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AGE Platform Europe is a European network of organisations of and for people aged 50+ aiming to voice and promote the interests of the 200 million citizens aged 50+ in the European Union and to raise awareness of the issues that concern them most. www.age-platform.eu
In our fight against prevailing age stigma and ageism, we promote a more realistic image of older age. Read our short guide to avoid stereotypical communication when talking about ageing and older people.