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Home >> Equinet Activities >> Events >> Seminar: Tackling Ageism & Age Discrimination against Older (...)

Seminar: Tackling Ageism & Age Discrimination against Older People

May 23rd 2019

Date: 27-28 June 2019
Location: Berlin, Germany

Equinet is organising a capacity building seminar entitled "Tackling Age Discrimination against Older Persons: Building Bridges between Equality Bodies & Older Persons’ Organisations”, together with AGE Platform Europe.

It will be hosted by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency.

Why focus on age discrimination against older persons?

Discrimination on the ground of age, as reflected through the experience of equality bodies, is a pervasive and deeply detrimental phenomenon in European societies, relegating older people to a position of marginalization and disadvantage in society. For instance, the 2015 Eurobarometer reports that being 55 years old or older is perceived as the most significant barrier in access to employment, with over half of respondents (56 %) saying it is likely to lead to disadvantage. In addition, the experience of the equality bodies suggest that stereotyping of older people, negative value judgements of age and ageing, ageist attitudes, prejudice and a sense that age itself might be a valid justification for discrimination are all prevalent across the Member States. The equality bodies are clear that it is these phenomena that enable and even serve to justify discrimination experienced by older people.

Nevertheless, discrimination on the ground of age might be seen and portrayed as a ‘less severe’ form of discrimination when compared to, for example, racial discrimination. Its relative invisibility and its image as a relatively ‘light’ form of discrimination is reflected accordingly in the EU legislation. Thus legislation prohibiting discrimination beyond the labour market on the ground of age has yet to be enacted. However, many Member States have gone beyond the requirements of the European Union equal treatment Directives in establishing equality bodies whose mandates include an age ground and in enacting equal treatment legislation that prohibits discrimination on the age ground both in employment and beyond in the provision of goods and services.

What can you learn at this event?

  • The main objective is the build the capacity of national equality bodies and organisations representing older people in their work to tackle age discrimination against older people in their respective countries.
  • By introducing the topic and exploring how to define age discrimination against older people and the term ’ageism’ more specifically, the participants will get a better idea of the existing legal framework, concepts and discover possible gaps and opportunities.
  • Specific issues in different fields of life will also be discussed during the seminar. Topics such as intersectionality and discrimination of older people in the field of employment and financial services are examples of such topics.
  • The participants will also be able to elaborate on ways national equality bodies and organisations representing older people can work together both on national level and in relation to broader topics on EU and international level.


We look forward to welcoming Equinet members to the seminar.
Please register here by 3 June 2019.

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Equinet’s recent work on Age Discrimination

Discussion Paper
Discussion Paper

The seminar builds upon Equinet’s recent publication on age discrimination as well as our strategic involvement within the framework of the 10th Session of the UN Open-ended Working Group on Aging that took place in New York from 15-18 April.

Equinet contact person:

Milla Vidina (Policy Officer)
+32 2 2123185