Thriving Youth – From Ageism to Intergenerational Solidarity

14 February 2022

Addressing ageism and fostering collaboration across all groups is needed to advance the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, ensuring that no one is left behind. Ageism is defined by the World Health Organisation as the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) directed towards others or oneself, based on age. It is an insidious and often accepted health, human rights and development issue that affects both older and younger populations around the world. Importantly, ageism regularly co-exists with other forms of bias that numerous groups struggle with for the duration of their lives.

The UN Global report on ageism launched in March of 2021 highlights the many gaps that still exist with regards to ageism as it affects younger people. In this context, the objective of this virtual side event is to give focus to younger populations and their experiences of ageism, and to create a partnership across age groups to combat ageism.

As we enter into our third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we see that young people are facing distinct age-related barriers in various spheres of their lives, including health, employment and politics. These age-related obstacles can deeply impact wellbeing and livelihoods not only during the youth years, but also in adulthood. Nurturing just and equitable access to health (and especially mental health) services, and bridging existing inequalities in employment and opportunities for political engagement are key elements in addressing ageism targeting all age groups.

For the COVID—19 recovery to be truly inclusive and sustainable, there is an undeniable need to  identify and address the root causes of ageism as well as combat its multidimensional effects on all generations.

This 60th Commission for Social Development (CSocD60) side event was based on the key findings of the Global report on ageism as well as the Ageism through the ages initiative also lead by the World Health Organization.

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