15 January launch of Action/2015 – a global citizens movement demanding ambitious agreements on poverty, inequality and climate change in 2015.


HelpAge International is joining Action/2015, a global citizen’s movement, to call on leaders to raise their ambitions for a fairer world for all ages in 2015; the year that two United Nations summits can change the course of history.

Today and throughout 2015, HelpAge International is encouraging young and old to come together to take action and challenge inequality and discrimination.

“I find myself without a pension after 20 years working in the textile industry and I have to keep working in difficult conditions to earn a living,” said Jean Charles Felix, a 70 year old tailor from Haiti.

“Older men and women like me should say ‘No to age discrimination’,” he said.

With the UN Climate Change Conference and the finalisation of the post 2015 Sustainable Development goals within a few months of each other, 2015 is the year to meet the challenges of inequality and injustice.

“Longer lifetimes will have consequences for young people now, who by 2050 will be part of the largest group of older people in history,” said Toby Porter, Chief Executive of HelpAge International.

“No future development goals can be legitimate unless they include people of all ages,” he said.

“Different generations need to work together – not view each other’s concerns as competition. The launch of Action/2015 is an opportunity to show this. By raising our voices today we aim to make a difference for future generations,” he added.

HelpAge in Kenya is partnering with the Organisation of African Youth to mobilise both older and younger musicians and artists to develop a song for Action/2015, highlighting issues affecting older people. The song will be launched at a public event, supported by face to face meetings with decision makers from the Ministry of Planning, Social Affairs and Health.

HelpAge Bangladesh, in partnership with World Vision Bangladesh, will be creating a human chain of 2000 activists, in front of the Parliament to acknowledge the rights of older people.
Action/2015 is a year-long campaign demanding that leaders deliver on fighting poverty, inequality and climate change. It is one of the biggest campaigns ever to launch and aims to make sure the outcomes of the 2015 UN summits are shaped by the people.

Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize Winner campaigning for the right to education, who has backed the Action/2015 movement said;

“2015 must be the year the world wakes up and delivers a safer, more just future for children and young people. We all must play our part in ensuring this is the case. Do not let this opportunity go to waste.”

“In 2015, I hope to see older people respected and listened to,” said Elizabeth Marie, an activist with the Muthande Society for the Aged from South Africa. “I want society to remember that older people have a lot to offer because of their experience and wisdom,” she said.

Tilahun Abebe, an activist from Ethiopia said, “In 2015 I want my government to give older people a stronger voice and acknowledge them as an important part of the family.”

Laila Akchurina Muhamedovna, an activist from Kyrgyzstan said: “Support and appropriate health care for our older people must be held up as an example to our younger generations.”
Through Action/2015, millions of people will listen to the promises made and will hold leaders accountable for what they do in the years to come. Both young and old are calling for age-specific targets to ensure they are not missed out in development issues.

Sara García, an activist from Argentina said: “I’m an activist for older people’s rights because my parents lived to 90 and 95 years of age but did not enjoy the later years of their life.

“In the city where I live, assaults on older people are very common and we are afraid to go outside. I want this to change in 2015. I want the city to become a friendly place for everyone.”

HelpAge International and the Action/2015 movement are demanding a better future for people and the planet in 2015! Join the worldwide launch today by visiting http://www.helpage.org/get-involved/campaigns/action2015/ or get involved on social media by tweeting #action2015


Contact: Beth Howgate at HelpAge International’s office in London on +44 (0) 20 7148 7606 or email beth.howgate@helpage.org

Download full press release with the notes to editor here.