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Germany declares 2012 the Year Against Age Discrimination

Germany declares 2012 the Year Against Age Discrimination © Jesús Solana

The German Anti-discrimination Agency (ADS) has declared 2012 the Year Against Age Discrimination. Under the motto “Im besten Alter. Immer” (In the Best Age, Always) the agency aims to raise awareness among citizens about the use of attributes such as "too young" or "too old", because behind them there are usually many prejudices, such as the idea that youngsters have little work experience or seniors are not very flexible.

"Many people think discrimination based on age as normal. People continue to be disadvantaged because they are too young or too old. Age discrimination is a capital mistake to society and the economy," said Christine Lüders, Head of the Anti-discrimination agency during the presentation of the year.

A highlight of the thematic year will be the Action Week between April 23rd and 29th. Several regions will celebrate during the week events in cooperation with schools, senior centres, businesses, NGOs and cultural institutions, stimulating an intergenerational dialogue and raising awareness on the age discrimination issue.

The federal agency has also designated special ambassadors for the year, who will participate actively in an Action Week in April. The prominent figures supporting the campaign so far are actresses Liz Baffoe, Uschi Glas and Maren Kroymann; professor R.D. Hirsch; publicist Sven Kuntze; Peter Maffay, singer; actor Axel Pape and Henning Scherf, former Mayor of Bremen and President of the Senate of Bremen.

In the frame of this thematic year, an Experts Committee presided by Dr. Scherf, will work on the development of concrete actions and proposals to reduce age discrimination in Germany. Their recommendations will be presented by the end of the year.

According to a recent survey commissioned by the ADS, every fifth German (21 percent) has experienced age discrimination.

More information about the ADS Year Against Age Discrimination available at