UN report on ageism addresses last acceptable “ism”

Lily Parsey, Global Policy and Influencing Manager at the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC), responds to the UN’s global report on ageism published today:

“We welcome the UN’s important and timely report that calls on policymakers across the world to tackle ageism.

In an ageing world, older people are increasingly contributing to societies and economies across the globe, be it through working, spending, volunteering or caring.

But at the same time, damaging ageist stereotypes are locking too many of us out of doing just these things as we age. COVID-19 has further exposed dangerous ageist stereotypes and intergenerational conflict, often reinforced by the media.

While we’ve seen huge strides in recent decades to tackle some of the other “isms” so prevalent in society, ageism is still far too acceptable and, according to the report, remains prevalent in as many as 1 in 2 people.

But ageism cannot be tackled in silo. As the report states, different forms of discrimination, such as those related to sex, race and disability, intersect and exacerbate one another. Ageism is no exception.

It’s promising to see the UN leading the way on the international stage to respond to this. What we need now is targeted and concerted action from policymakers, employers and individuals to recognise, understand and address the ways in which ageism manifest and impact on people of all ages.”


The UN’s report Global report on ageism was published on Thursday 18 March 2021 here.

ILC recently supported a project conducted by University of Kent and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council on the intersections between ageism and ableism in the workplace. A full recording of the event is available here.