Equality, Human Rights & Discrimination

We live in a world obsessed by age and stereotypical views of older people. All too often, older people are spoken about in a derogatory, disrespectful and even defamatory manner. This can undermine older people’s self-esteem, self-confidence and independence. Phrases such as ‘burden of care’ and ‘silver tsunami’ that are sometimes used by public services, the media and other commentators, are simply unacceptable.

Too many older people feel that services, and indeed some sections of society, discriminate against them simply because of their age. This includes financial services, health services and other essential services and support. Older people are not a homogenous group that should be defined by their age or stereotypes.

Older people have the same human rights as any other adults, however, these rights are often overlooked and not upheld. The principles of the Human Rights Act 1998 are absent from much government policy and practice concerning older people. The basic rights to life and freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment receive little consideration; the right to a private and family life and the right to liberty are routinely overlooked.

Putting equality and human rights at the heart of public services, and wider society, delivers a better quality of life for everyone – not just older people.

In this section you will find useful information about Equality, Human Rights and Discrimination, including the Commissioner's Strategic Equality Plan, help for older people to stand up for their rights and a wide range of other useful resources. Follow the links on the left-hand menu to explore this section and find out more.