Mrs Christina Tallberg, NOPO President (Aftonbladet picture)
While we were celebrating the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights on 10 December, the President of the Nordic Older People Organisations (NOPO), Mrs Christina Tallberg, highlighted the prevalence of age discrimination in the Swedish legalislation.
In an article for the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, the chairman of Sweden’s largest pensioner organisation deplores that age discrimination, or ”ageism” remains an everyday reality in Sweden, with human rights being significantly weakened as you get older.
A parlementary issue
Ageism is visible event in the composition of the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag): less than 2% of the its members is aged 65+, whereas this population group makes up about 25% of the population entitled to vote. Mrs Tallberg reminds that the composition of decision-making assemblies should reasonably reflect society.
And a broader legal issue
Some further examples of age discrimination are pointed out in the access to quality assistive technology, health care, employment and pensions:
- Older persons with a disability can get access to assistive technology, but in many county councils they are cheaper and of poorer quality than those prescribed for younger age groups.
- While most politicians insist on the importance of supporting longer careers, this does not apply to everyone. For example, if you have a visual impairement or disability and need an aid for your job, you will no longer receive compensation from the Social Insurance Agency if you have turned 65 years of age.
- If you suffer from an accident or illness after you have reached 65, you have no right to state aid compensation.
- After a serious health accident such as a stroke for example, the goals set for rehabilitation are significantly lower for an older person.
- With the current guarantee pension in Sweden amounting to SEK 8,076 per month and the average pension to SEK 12,400, a pensioner should accept to live on a low economic standard.
NOPO reminds that to combat ageism, action is required in a variety of areas of society and the first is to take the Declaration of Human Rights seriously. ”After 70 years, it is time to ban age discrimination!”
Read the full article in Swedish