WHO Global Report on Ageism right at home in Australia – COTA Australia

19 Mar 2021

COTA Australia says the WHO Global report on Ageism released today, which highlights the prevalence of ageism globally and makes key recommendations for how to combat it, is as relevant in Australia as it is anywhere else in the world.

The report finds that 1 in 2 people worldwide are ageist against older people and that this impacts on older people’s life span, income,  poorer physical and mental health, slower recovery from disability and cognitive decline.

“This report also shows just how pervasive ageism is in our society. We see it in our workplaces, in our health care system and of course we’ve seen it rife throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.” Ian Yates, Chief Executive of COTA Australia said.

“When older people are undervalued, we all miss out, as individuals, as communities, and as an economy. The hidden costs of ageism and age discrimination in employment, health care and other areas is enormous, and the WHO Report calls for more research, education and legislation to understand and combat this scourge. We would all benefit from living in a nation that  fully harnesses the experience and contributions of all its people, including all older people. Our economy would grow significantly, and people’s health and well-being would increase across the lifespan.

“Making an end to ageism a global priority through the UN, WHO and other international agencies is overdue, but very welcome. It underscores the need for both cultural and policy change to put an end to ageism right across the globe.”

COTA is a leading  member of the EveryAGE Counts coalition, a national campaign which aims to tackle ageism against older people in Australia, which is praised by the WHO Report.

“Every person has a role to play in stopping ageism. We need governments, businesses, civil organisations and every single person in the country to put an end to ageism, starting now.” 

Media contact: Ian Yates 0418 835 439; Kayla Foster 0447 040 029


EveryAGE Counts 

There is more information about ageism on the EveryAGE Counts website including the opportunity to take the pledge against ageism and a quiz so you can assess where you sit on the ageism spectrum.


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