Ageism is the stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination against people on the basis of their age. Ageism is widespread programme against discrimination in communities an insidious practice which has harmful effects on the health of older adults.
For older people, ageism is an everyday challenge. Overlooked for employment, restricted from social services and stereotyped in the media, ageism marginalises and excludes older people in their communities. These attitudes lead to the marginalisation of older people within our communities and have negative impacts on their health and well-being. 60 will live in low- and middle-income countries by 2050.
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Education for tolerance should aim at countering influences that lead to fear and exclusion of others, and should help young people develop capacities for independent judgement, critical thinking and ethical reasoning. Irina Bokova, 21 March 2014 On the day of its fiftieth anniversary, 16 November 1995, UNESCO’s Member States adopted a Declaration of Principles on Tolerance. Among other things, the Declaration affirms that tolerance is neither indulgence nor indifference. Each Government is responsible for enforcing human rights laws, for banning and punishing hate crimes and discrimination against minorities, whether these are committed by State officials, private organizations or individuals. The State must also ensure equal access to courts, human rights commissioners or ombudsmen, so that people do not take justice into their own hands and resort to violence to settle their disputes. Laws are necessary but not sufficient for countering intolerance in individual attitudes.
Intolerance is very often rooted in ignorance and fear: fear of the unknown, of the other, other cultures, nations, religions. Intolerance is also closely linked to an exaggerated sense of self-worth and pride, whether personal, national or religious. These notions are taught and learned at an early age. Therefore, greater emphasis needs to be placed on educating more and better.
Education is a life-long experience and does not begin or end in school. Endeavours to build tolerance through education will not succeed unless they reach all age groups, and take place everywhere: at home, in schools, in the workplace, in law-enforcement and legal training, and not least in entertainment and on the information highways. Intolerance is most dangerous when it is exploited to fulfil the political and territorial ambitions of an individual or groups of individuals. Hatemongers often begin by identifying the public’s tolerance threshold.