Global Report on Ageism

The Global report on ageism outlines a framework for action to reduce ageism including specific recommendations for different actors (e.g. government, UN agencies, civil society organizations, private sector).

It outlines what strategies work to prevent and counter ageism, identifies gaps and proposes future lines of research to improve our understanding of ageism.

Here are the three strategies and recommendations:

Three strategies to reduce ageism have been shown to work: policy and law, educational activities and intergenerational contact interventions.

  • Strategy 1: Policy and law – Policies and laws can be used to reduce ageism towards any age group. They can include, for example, policies and legislation that address age discrimination and inequality and human rights laws. Strengthening policies and laws against ageism can be achieved by adopting new instruments at the local, national or international level and by modifying existing instruments that permit age discrimination. This strategy requires enforcement mechanisms and monitoring bodies at the national and international levels to ensure effective implementation of the policies and laws addressing discrimination, inequality and human rights.
  • Strategy 2: Educational interventions – Educational interventions to reduce ageism should be included across all levels and types of education, from primary school to university, and in formal and non-formal educational contexts. Educational activities help enhance empathy, dispel misconceptions about
    different age groups and reduce prejudice and discrimination by providing accurate information and counter-stereotypical examples.
  • Strategy 3: Intergenerational contact interventions – Investments should also be made in intergenerational contact interventions, which aim to foster interaction between people of different generations. Such contact can reduce intergroup prejudice and stereotypes. Intergenerational contact interventions are among the most effective interventions to reduce ageism against older people, and they also show promise for reducing ageism against younger people.

These three recommendations aim to help stakeholders reduce ageism. Implementing them requires political commitment, the engagement of different sectors and actors and context specific adaptations. When possible, they should be implemented together to maximize their impact on ageism.

  • Recommendation 1: Invest in evidence-based strategies to prevent and tackle ageism. Priority should be given to the three strategies supported by the best evidence: enacting policies and laws, and implementing educational and intergenerational contact interventions. To make a difference at the level of
    populations, these strategies must be scaled up. Where such interventions have not been implemented before, they should be adapted and tested, and then scaled up once they have been shown to work in the new context.
  • Recommendation 2: Improve data and research to gain a better understanding of ageism and how to reduce it. Improving our understanding of all aspects of ageism – its scale, impacts and determinants – is a prerequisite for reducing ageism against both younger and older people. Data should be collected across countries, particularly in low- and middle- income countries, using valid and reliable measurement scales of ageism. But the top-most priority should be developing strategies to reduce ageism. The evidence base for the effectiveness of strategies is developing, but it still falls short of what is needed. Existing strategies should be optimized, their cost and cost–effectiveness estimated and then they should be scaled up. Promising strategies, such as campaigns to reduce ageism, need to be further developed and evaluated.
  • Recommendation 3: Build a movement to change the narrative around age and ageing. We all have a role to play in challenging and eliminating ageism. Governments, civil society organizations, UN agencies, development organizations, academic and research institutions, businesses and people of all ages can join the movement to reduce ageism. By coming together as a broad coalition, we can improve collaboration and communication between the different stakeholders engaged in combating ageism.

The full report can be read in the download below.