Ageism is a very widespread form of discrimination. 42 % of Europeans perceive discrimination due to old age (being over 55 years old) as “very” or “fairly” widespread in their country.
Discriminating on the basis of age denies us our right to participate in society on an equal basis with others. For example, due to age limits we may find ourselves excluded from health treatment, insurance, banking products, training and social support, to name just a few. Ageist prejudices also drive other human violations, including poverty, neglect and abuse.
We all age differently and some of us face combined forms of inequalities based on our age but also gender, ethnic origin, disability, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and others.
Read more on our work on multiple discrimination in older age
Fighting for equal rights at all ages
We want to ensure that people, no matter their age, can live in dignity. We believe that ageism is equally wrong and harmful to other forms of discrimination. Human rights allow us to challenge the practices that keep us from living fairly and freely as equals when we are old.
We aim to change the laws and policies at national, European and international level to ensure they adequately prevent and address all forms of discrimination and rights violations in old age. We strive to increase awareness of how ageism affects our lives and our communities and advocate for policies to mainstream age equality.
We mainly work on…
- Raising awareness of ageism as a serious and harmful form of discrimination that creates barriers to equality, freedom and participation
- Empowering individuals and advocacy groups to fight for equal rights in all ages
- Ensuring that EU policies adopt a rights-based approach to ageing
- Extending legal protection from age discrimination at EU level beyond the field of employment
- Advocating for a new UN convention to protect our rights in old age
- Promoting understanding of the diversity of the older population and the multiple forms of discrimination faced by groups, such as older women, older Roma people, older LGBTI people and older persons with disabilities.
We contribute to the following EU and global debates…
- Proposal for new EU legislation covering age discrimination in access to goods and services
- UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing, which discusses ways to strengthen the protection of human rights in old age and the feasibility of a new UN Convention
- Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the EU Disability Strategy
- The work of the UN Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Older Persons
Key AGE resources on human rights and non-discrimination
- Older Persons’ Self Advocacy Handbook
- Ageing Equal Campaign
- AGE Human Rights Manifesto (EN, FR)
- AGE Position on Structural Ageism
- UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing
- UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons
- Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Council of Europe
- Equinet – the European network of Equality Bodies
- European Network of National Human Rights Institutions
- HelpAge International
EU research projects
AGE is involved in the EuroAgeism project, and hosts in that frame several young researcher who will evaluate how non-discrimination law influences the inclusion of older persons. You can learn more here.
Nena Georgantzi, Policy Coordinator: email@example.com