Multiple discrimination in old age: a neglected issue

PRESS RELEASE                                                                            
Brussels, 23 November 2012


Equality Summit 2012, 22-23 November

Multiple discrimination in old age: 
  A neglected issue


On 22 November, on the occasion of the European Equality Summit 2012, the Commission published its Eurobarometer on ‘Discrimination in the EU in 2012’ which highlights the ongoing problem of age discrimination as the most prevalent ground of discrimination. Along with the ageing of the EU population, the number of people facing multiple discrimination is on the increase. According to Louise Richardson, Vice-President of AGE, representing AGE Platform Europe at the Equality Summit, “There is an urgent need to address the serious problem of age discrimination, in particular for specific groups of older people who face discrimination on account not only of their age but due to other factors such as disability, race, ethnicity or/and sexual orientation.”


The Equality Summit in Nicosia, Cyprus, on 22-23 November 2012, is the opportunity for AGE to emphasize the need to take into account of the increasing number of people in the EU who are facing multiple discrimination in old age and launch its first papers in a series of joint papers on equality issues affecting specific groups of older people which have been drafted in collaboration with other EU non-discrimination and equality networks.

These include:

  • a joint policy paper with the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association on ‘Equality for older lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people in Europe November 2012’ which focuses on the situation of these specific groups and to suggest relevant best practices and policy recommendations to help older LGBTI people going through those life stage transitions.
  • a joint AGE-ENAR position paper on ‘The voices of older ethnic and religious minorities and migrants: raising awareness of their rights to promote their participation in employment, involvement in the community and independent living as a contribution to the European Year 2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations’ which draws on testimonies and concrete examples of good and bad practices to shed light on the situations on the ground and the policy changes, which AGE and ENAR would like to see achieved for ethnic and religious minorities and older migrants beyond EY2012.
  • AGE also collaborated with Autism Europe on a paper on ‘The Rights of Ageing People with Autism: towards a better quality of life’ since older people with autism face problems resulting from both their disability and the ageing process. In addition, informal carers of people with autism are often older people themselves who have to cope with their own ageing challenges. These difficulties are worsened by the consequences of the financial crisis, reducing financial support and decreasing the resources available in the social and the healthcare sectors necessary to meet the growing, and as yet largely unknown, needs of older people with autism. In this context, the rights of ageing people with disabilities should not be forgotten by governments when they implement the UNCRPD.

A joint paper with the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) focusing on the discrimination faced by older women is in preparation and to be issued by the end of the year.

AGE also intends to address the issue of older Roma in a joint statement with the European Roma Information Office (ERIO) on the extent to which the National Roma Integration Strategies take account of the needs of older Roma and to issue recommendations to policy makers.



Useful links:

AGE New position papers:


Press release in pdf format

Friday 23 November 2012
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