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In the framework of the European Year, the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland produced a report in April 2012 setting out its proposals of reform of the age equality legislation in Northern Ireland so that individuals have increased protection against discrimination on the grounds of age by those providing goods, facilities, services, exercising public functions or by private clubs. The changes proposed mean that age equality legislation in Northern Ireland keeps pace with legislative changes due to take effect in Great Britain later in the year. Finally, the proposed changes are in keeping with the Executive’s Older People’s strategy “Ageing in an Inclusive Society”, which aims to improve the lives of older people.
On 25 September 2012, the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland also held a seminar in the Stormont Hotel, Belfast, providing a platform for the age sector and other key stakeholders to discuss the need for the forthcoming age discrimination legislation. It explored the Commission´s recommendations for age health and social care provisions and potential developments at a European and GB level. The event concluded with a panel discussion focusing on delegates' issues on the subject. The seminar was well received by the 102 delegates who attended from the age, public, legal, health, trade union and voluntary and community sectors.
Speaking at the seminar were OFMdFM Junior Ministers Jonathan Bell MLA and Jennifer McCann MLA; Roisin Mallon, Senior Policy Officer, Equality Commission for NI; Robin Allen QC, Head of Cloisters Barristers´ Chambers; and Helen Bowers, Head of Policy and Research, National Development Team for Inclusion.
To demonstrate the impact the changes proposed could have, Ann Gamble shared her experience on the level of care provided to the elderly in nursing homes. A group of young people produced a video highlighting the barriers they, and a parent, have faced when accessing health and social care.
Equality Commission for Northern Ireland|
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is an independent public body whose general duties and functions are working towards the elimination of discrimination, promoting and monitoring the implementation of equality of opportunity, as well as keeping equality legislation under review.
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