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Presentation on theme: " Equality for older LGBTI people in Europe Vienna, 25 April 2013 Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe, and Rachel Buchanan, AGE Platform Europe."— Presentation transcript:

1 Equality for older LGBTI people in Europe Vienna, 25 April 2013 Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe, and Rachel Buchanan, AGE Platform Europe

2 Four main challenges Social protection and derived rights for same-sex couples Healthcare Isolation and social exclusion Long-term care

3 Social protection Lack of legal recognition of same-sex couples is a major source of financial insecurity. Marriage and registered partnerships in Europe. CJEU case-law : Maruko (2008) and Römer (2011). However, there are still some discrepancies… And therefore, it may be necessary to make specific arrangements.

4 Access to healthcare Mental health issues  Ireland, GLEN study, 2011  Lack of research & knowledge Reluctance to seek healthcare  Ongoing pathologisation  Negative experiences when seeking healthcare  Denial of visitation rights

5 Access to healthcare Specific situation of trans people  Diversity of trans people  Need to train healthcare practicioners on specific concerns of trans people (disclosure, long-term use of medicines, etc) Specifc situation of intersex people  Lack of research  Again problematic long-term use of medicines  Traumatic experiences in relation to healthcare

6 Social exclusion and isolation Difficulties to rely on family support vs. ‘families of choice’ Mainstream services not inclusive enough ‘LGBTI social events’ not inclusive of older LGBTI people

7 Long-term care Reluctance towards residential care  Renouncing to one’s independence  Needs of same-sex couples not accomodated  Harrassment by other residents and members of the staff  Concerns of trans people on respect of their gender identity and expression  Lack of awareness on issues faced by intersex people

8 Long-term care Receiving care at home  Need to rely on family support  Still risk of harrassment Exclusively LGBTI residential care  Not necessarily affordable  Does not contribute to an inclusive society

9 Good practices Social exclusion : 50+ Pink NL Consortium has set up GSAs for older LGBTI people + a website. Health : Age UK Oxfordshire had provided information and training on the needs and issues of older LGBT residents with dementia. Long-term care : 50+ Pink NL Consortium put in place a system allowing residential care facilities to assess how ‘LGBTI-friendly’ they were + an audit system that delivers a certificate to service providers respecting minimal requirements.

10 Good practices Long-term care : Stonewall has published guidance on how care and support services can meet the needs of older LGB people. Long-term care : The Spanish ‘Fundacion 26 de Diciembre’ is exploring possibilities of creating a residential care inclusive of older LGBTI people.

11 Recommendations to EU institutions Adopt the directive on equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion, disability, age and sexual orientation in the fields of social protection, social advantages, education, health, access to and supply of goods and services (proposed by the EC in 2008) Monitor the implementation of the directive on equal access to goods and services between men and women (adopted in 2004) and ensure that older trans and intersex people do have access to services and care available to older people. In the framework of its policy on active ageing, the EC should facilitate best practices exchange.

12 Recommendations to public authorities Respect and promote article 23 of the revised European Social Charter which requires its signatories to  « enable elderly persons to choose their life-style freely and to lead independent lives in their familiar sourroundings for as long as they wish and are able ».  « guarantee elderly persons living in institutions appropriate support, while respecting their privacy, and participation in decisions concerning living conditions in the institution ».

13 Recommendations to public authorities Expressely mandate equality bodies to investigate multiple discrimination and make sure that older people are able to report abuses and discriminatory practices. Ensure that public health campaigns targetting older people reflect the needs of older LGBTI people as well. Medical curricula should address health needs of older LGBTI people. Training shoud also be provided to informal and professional carers.

14 Recommendations to public authorities Support initiatives aiming at setting-up self-organised facilities for older people. Make sure that succession rights and joint tenancies are available for all couples and provide information to older LGBTI people on possibilities of passing their benefits, assets and inheritance to their surviving partner.

15 To health and care services providers Avoid presuming the sexual orientation and gender identity of their users. Ensure older LGBTI users have stipulated who is their next of kin. Organise training for care staff on how to address the needs of LGBTI people (inclusive language, respect for privacy, confidentiality and autonomy). Create or join quality frameworks, labels or charters. Display in their leaflets pictures of older LGBTI users and commitments about their LGBTI friendly policy. Make sure that they have the necessary information on long term effects of medicines taken by older trans and intersex people.

16 Recommendations to NGOs Aknowledge the diversity among their members! LGBTI rights organisations to reach out to older LGBTI people and take advantage of a deeper intergenerational dialogue. Encourage a programme of friendly visits to older LGBTI people and set up GSAs for older people. Encourage older LGBTI people (but also their families and residential care facilities’ staff and users) to report discriminatory practices affecting older LGBTI people.

17 Thank you!

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