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Media Release – UN Human Rights Day



“Age discrimination is rife in Australia despite the fact our population is ageing,” Sue Hendy, CEO of COTA Victoria said in a statement to mark UN International Human Rights Day. “The human rights of older Victorians need safeguarding.”

“Ageism needs to be tackled at all levels.  Racism and sexism are no longer accepted so why should ageism.

“We need to move towards a community where older people’s rights are recognised and where older people can fully participate as contributing members of society.

“Discrimination of older people is manifested in widespread elder abuse which for too long has been a hidden scourge for many older people.

“It also shows up in the employment area where too many older people experience discrimination, are denied jobs or forced to retire early.

“Current age discrimination laws are weak despite the fact that a third of older Australians say they have experienced age discrimination.

“We call on the Prime Minister and the Premier to strengthen anti-discrimination laws and to begin discussion with employers and unions on overcoming the barriers to employing older people. This issue is central to the future of our economy.

“As a good international citizen, Australia has obligations. Yet our government refuses to support a UN convention on the rights of older people when most of the developing world is keenly supportive of a convention.

“Older Australians too would welcome a UN convention that ensures their rights are adequately described and upheld,” Sue Hendy said.

Council on the Ageing (COTA) Victoria is the peak advocacy organisation representing older Victorians.

Media enquiries: Sue Hendy: 0413 802054, Brendan O’Dwyer: 0415 764 353.

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