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SOMETHING TO FALL BACK ON
- Document

Take action to increase participation in the labour market of the working age population and to reduce the risk of exclusion or dependency in later life. This action is to be promoted through the implementation of policies such as: increasing older women’s participation; sustainable work-related health-care services with emphasis on prevention, promotion of occupational health and safety so as to maintain work ability; access to technology, life-long learning, continuing education, on-the-job training, vocational rehabilitation and flexible retirement arrangements; and efforts to reintegrate the unemployed and persons with disabilities into the labour market;

(d) Make special efforts to raise the participation rate of women and disadvantaged groups, such as the long-term unemployed and persons with disabilities, thereby reducing the risk of their exclusion or dependency in later life;

(e) Promote self-employment initiatives for older persons, inter alia, by encouraging the development of small and micro-enterprises and by ensuring access to credit for older persons, without discrimination, in particular gender discrimination;

(f) Assist older persons already engaged in informal sector activities by improving their income, productivity and working conditions;

(g) Eliminate age barriers in the formal labour market by promoting the recruitment of older persons and preventing the onset of disadvantages experienced by ageing workers in employment;

(h) Promote, as appropriate, a new approach to retirement that takes account of the needs of the employees as well as the employers, in particular by applying the principle of flexible retirement policies and practices, while maintaining acquired pension rights...

(i) Recognize and accommodate the caring responsibilities of increasing proportions of workers for older family members, persons with disabilities and persons with chronic diseases, including HIV/AIDS, by developing, inter alia, family-friendly and gender-sensitive policies aimed at reconciling work and care-giving responsibilities;

(j) Remove disincentives to working beyond retirement age, for example through protecting acquired pension rights, disability benefit rights and health benefits from being affected by delayed retirement age;

(k) Promote new work arrangements and innovative workplace practices aimed at sustaining working capacity and accommodating the needs of workers as they age, inter alia, by setting up employee assistance programmes;

(l) Support workers in making informed decisions about the potential financial, health and other impacts of a longer participation in the workforce;

(m) Promote a realistic portrait of older workers’ skills and abilities by correcting damaging stereotypes about older workers or job candidates;

(n) Take into account the interests of older workers when policy or decision makers approve business mergers so that they are not subject to greater disadvantages, reduction of benefits or loss of employment than are their younger counterparts...

29. In many developing countries and countries with economies in transition, the ageing population is marked in rural areas...Older persons may be left behind without traditional family support and even without adequate financial resources. Policies and programmes for food security and agricultural production must take into account the implications of rural ageing. Older women in rural areas are particularly vulnerable economically, especially when their role is restricted to non-remunerated work for family upkeep and they are dependent on others for their support and survival. Older persons in rural areas in developed countries and countries with economies in transition often still lack basic services and have insufficient economic and community resources.

30. Despite restrictions on legal international migration, migration flows have increased internationally. In developing countries and countries with economies in transition, economic support, including remittances from children abroad, is often a vital lifeline to older persons and through them to their communities and local economies...

31. The urban setting is generally less conducive to sustaining the traditional extended family network and reciprocity system than are rural areas. Older migrants from rural to urban areas in developing countries often face loss of social networks and suffer from the lack of a supporting infrastructure in cities...in particular if they are ill or disabled. In countries with a long history of rural to urban migration and the expansion of underdeveloped cities, there is a growing population of poor older persons. The urban setting for the older migrant...is often one of crowded housing, poverty, loss of economic autonomy and little physical and social care from family members who must earn their living outside the home.

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