This webinar will take place online on 27 February 2024. It is aimed at National Equality Bodies experts on accessibility, concretely members of the Age and Disability Clusters as well as relevant CSOs and policymakers at European and National level.Register by 23 February! Read the Concept Note and Agenda!
Accessibility and inclusion of older people and persons with disabilities is becoming one of the most important global issues which will only rise in the coming years. By 2050, it is expected that about 6.25 billion people, 15% of whom are persons with disabilities, will be living in urban centres. The global population is also ageing rapidly, with the number of people aged over 60 set to pass the 1 billion mark over the next decade. A significant and growing number of the world’s urban residents are older people – more than 500 million. However, research shows that for older people and persons with disabilities, cities and towns present physical, social and economic barriers that prevent them realising their right to live in dignity and enjoying equal access to transport, housing and urban infrastructures.
Architectural barriers can seriously affect the daily lives of older persons and persons with disabilities. They may be unable to leave their houses or access public buildings, shops and other spaces owing to a lack of elevators or inaccessible pavements. In addition to the physical aspects of accessibility (accessible streets, transport and buildings), States should also take into account affordability and informational accessibility. The lack of accessible transport and neighbourhoods can lead to the discrimination and social exclusion of older persons and persons with disabilities.
Accessibility is defined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as cross-cutting issue that enables persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life. Its Article 9 (accessibility), Article 19 (independent living) and Article 20 (mobility) provide detailed guidance on measures that States shall take to advance accessibility. Likewise, the Madrid International Plan for Action on Ageing states the need to promote accessibility and the empowerment of older persons to participate fully in all aspects of society. Sustainable Development Goal 11 also calls for access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons. Additionally, at the European Union level, Principles 17 and 20 of the European Pillar of Social Rights provide a comprehensive approach to accessibility and social inclusion beyond solely income-related aspects.
To this end, this workshop, to be organised in collaboration with right holder’s organisations and European and International institutions aims to, through an intersectional lens, explore the role Equality Bodies may take in enabling accessibility, adequate infrastructure and habitat to older persons and persons with disabilities.
Experts from Equality Bodies will be better equipped to understand and support the rights of people with disabilities and old persons in connection to accessibility, infrastructure and habitat.