Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Brankica Jankovic, participated in a conference about combatting ageism and discrimination against the elderly, organized by the European Network of Equality Bodies (EQUINET), Age Platform Europe (AGE Platform Europe) and the Federal Agency for Combating Discrimination in Germany (FADA ).
Commissioner pointed out that aging is a global problem that Europe and Serbia are also facing, which poses the challenge to urgently find an adequate response in order to prevent many problems. The social circumstances in all European countries show that elderly citizens should not be considered in any other way than a valuable resource that can make a great contribution to the community, which would make the inclusion of the elderly at the very top of the priority in creation of public politics across Europe, said Jankovic.
Speaking about the situation in Serbia from the perspective of the institution’s practice, Commissioner stated that discrimination based on age exists in all areas and that it has been the second most often ground of discrimination in terms of complaints in recent years. Research conducted by the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality and the Red Cross of Serbia in urban and rural areas in our country has shown that the biggest problems of older persons are: insufficient access to services, primarily health and social care, as well as other public services, including transport, the great number of physical and economic barriers, as well as the common prejudices and stereotypes. Based on the situation analysis specifically and bearing in mind that every fifth citizen of Serbia is older than 65 years, our institution gave a whole set of recommendations to the public authorities in its annual reports with aim to improve the quality of life of older people in Serbia, along with other recommendations for taking measures and activities in order to improve the position of all social groups, Jankovic said.
The conference opening was also attended by the Head of Unit – Non-Discrimination and Roma Coordination, European Commission, Szabolcs Schmidt, and the Policy Director, AGE Platform Europe, Maciej Kucharczyk, and was attended by more than 80 representatives from 31 European countries.