Advancing Equality for Older People

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new report, commissioned by HelpAge International and produced by the Equal Rights Trust, on advancing equality for older people.

The Problem

International law requires States to address all forms of discrimination, including age discrimination. However, very little guidance has been issued in this area, and many States are unclear of how to meet their human rights obligations. As a result, ageism persists, and many older people continue to experience inequalities in different areas of life. The report seeks to fill this gap. It begins by setting out the human rights law framework on equality and non-discrimination, which is then used to assess the quality of legislation in 12 focus countries.

What needs to Change?

The report finds that national laws often contain gaps and weaknesses that undermine their effectiveness in practice. To address these shortcomings, two core actions are required:

First, at the national level, States must develop and enact comprehensive anti-discrimination law, prohibiting all forms of discrimination on the basis of age and all other grounds recognised by international law and in all areas of life regulated by law.

Second, at the international level, States must cooperate to develop and adopt a specific, binding instrument on the rights of older people. The rights to equality and to non-discrimination on the basis of age should be at the heart of this instrument, which should also establish proactive obligations on States to tackle ageism in all its forms.

Get Involved

These goals will only be achieved through advocacy, led by civil society and inclusive of older persons. To support these efforts, a range of additional materials have been prepared to accompany the main publication. This includes:

  • An advocacy toolkit to support advocacy at the national and international levels
  • A social media toolkit featuring handy graphics, videos from older people across the world as well as clear statements to use across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn; and
  • Twelve national legal studies, which provide an overview of the legal frameworks governing age discrimination in each of the focus countries.

A summary of the report is also available in Arabic, English, Russian and Spanish.

For more information on the Trust’s work fighting inequality, please follow our work on twitter @EqualRights. If you are a human rights defender interested in undertaking training on equality, you can register an account on our free Online Training Platform. Information on signing up is available at the following link. We are grateful for your continued support.