Finnish version now available
27 January 2020

Shifting perceptions: towards a rights‑based approach to ageing

European societies are not getting any younger! It is a simple truth we must face both about ourselves and Europe as a whole. In two generations, by 2080, those aged 65 or above will account for almost 30% of the European Union’s population.

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In modern and fast-paced societies, ‘older’ individuals are often dismissed as burdens and their important contributions – as carers in the family, mentors and volunteers, for example – to society overlooked. But, as this year’s focus ‘Shifting perceptions: towards a rights-based approach to ageing’ underlines, fundamental rights, whether civil and political or social and economic, do not carry an expiry date.

The focus explores the slow but inexorable shift from thinking about old age in terms of ‘deficits’ that create ‘needs’ to a more comprehensive one encompassing a ‘rights-based’ approach towards ageing. This gradually evolving paradigm shift strives to respect the fundamental right to equal treatment of all individuals, regardless of age – without neglecting protecting and providing support to those who need it.

The focus section can also be found in the main Fundamental Rights Report 2018.

Also available in Korean.