Age discrimination is when you are treated differently and unfairly because of your age. It is also when you are treated differently and unfairly because of people’s opinions or perceptions about your age.
The Government is developing a law that would protect everyone from age discrimination when they need medical treatment, when they need educational services; are buying goods and insurance; accessing public transport and or renting a house. These are all examples of what the government is calling ‘Goods, Facilities and Services’ (GFS).
This legislation, as proposed by the Government, excluded those under 16 years of age. NICCY, along with its youth panel and many, many other organisations and people of all ages were opposed to this proposal.
UPDATE: March 2017 – Equality Commission agrees with NICCY’s Complaint
In December 2015, NICCY complained to the Equality Commission about the Government’s consultation on its proposals to introduce Age GFS legislation that excludes under 16s, on the grounds that they failed to properly consult with children and young people. The Equality Commission’s decision and investigation report into NICCY’s complaint was made public on the 7th March 2017 – see press release.
The Equality Commission upheld (i.e. agreed with) NICCY’s complaint and found that the consultation with children and young people had not been properly carried out. They recommended that a consultation specific to the needs of children and young people, on Age GFS legislation should be carried out. This consultation should properly seek the views of children and young people; remove barriers to the participation of children and young people in the consultation and provide all information relevant to children and young people. The results of this consultation should then be used alongside the results of the earlier consultation in considering how to move the legislation forward. The Equality Commission gave the Government 3 months to report on its progress on the consultation with the children and young people.
This result sends a very clear message to Government that the voices of children and young people must be heard in developing policy and legislation and in all matters which impact on their lives. NICCY, and other organisations working with and for children and young people, will make sure that we use these findings to hold Government to account on its duty to properly consult with children and young people on Age GFS and all issues impacting on children’s lives.
We hope that there is no delay in taking forward this consultation with children and young people and we will keep you updated with any developments as and when they happen. We know that you, like us, will be looking forward to having your say about the right of children and young people of all ages to be protected from discrimination of any kind.
You can view the full report here.
The proposed legislation was out for public consultation in Autumn 2015. The NICCY Youth Panel (NYP) were appalled that those under 16 years of age will be excluded and deliberately discriminated against if the legislation goes through as proposed.
The NYP submitted a response to the consultation which you can view here.
We have produced a children and young people’s briefing report and supporting workshops which you can download here: