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AVOID AGEISM IN THE WORKPLACE
- Document

Objective 1: Enhancement of public recognition of the authority, wisdom, productivity and other important contributions of older persons.

Actions: (a) Develop and widely promote a policy framework in which there is an individual and collective responsibility to recognize the past and present contributions of older persons, seeking to counteract preconceived biases and myths and, consequently, to treat older persons with respect and gratitude, dignity and sensitivity; (b) Encourage the mass media to promote images that highlight the wisdom, strengths, contributions, courage and resourcefulness of older women and men, including older persons with disabilities; (c) Encourage educators to recognize and include in their courses the contribution made by persons of all ages, including older persons;

(d) Encourage the media to move beyond portrayal of stereotypes and to illuminate the full diversity of humankind; (e) Recognize that the media are harbingers of change and can be guiding factors in fostering the role of older persons in development strategies, including in rural areas; (f) Facilitate contributions by older women and men to the presentation by the media of their activities and concerns;

(g) Encourage the media and the private and public sectors to avoid ageism in the workplace and to present positive images of older persons; (h) Promote a positive image of older women’s contributions to increase their self-esteem.

The implementation of the International Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002 will require sustained action at all levels in order to both respond to the demographic changes ahead and to mobilize the skills and energies of older persons. It will require systematic evaluation to respond to new challenges. In addition there is a critical and continuing need for international assistance to help developing countries to pursue policies that address ageing.

The implementation of the International Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002 also requires, inter alia, a political, economic, ethical and spiritual vision for social development of older persons based on human dignity, human rights, equality, respect, peace, democracy, mutual responsibility and cooperation and full respect for the various religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of people.

Governments have the primary responsibility for implementing the broad recommendations of the International Plan of Action, 2002. A necessary first step in the successful implementation of the plan is to mainstream ageing and the concerns of older persons into national development frameworks and poverty eradication strategies. Programme innovation, mobilization of financial resources and the development of necessary human resources will be undertaken simultaneously.

Accordingly, progress in the implementation of the plan should be contingent upon effective partnership between governments, all parts of civil society and the private sector as well as an enabling environment based, inter alia, on democracy, the rule of law, respect for all human rights, fundamental freedoms and good governance at all levels, including national and international levels.

The role of non-governmental organizations is important in supporting governments in their implementation, assessment and follow-up of the International Plan of Action, 2002.

Efforts should be made to promote institutional follow-up to the International Plan of Action, including, as appropriate, the establishment of agencies on ageing and national committees. National committees on ageing that include representatives of relevant sectors of civil society, especially organizations of older persons, can make very valuable contributions and can serve as national advisory and coordinating mechanisms on ageing.

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