Developing an age-friendly world is a priority for the 21st century. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), ‘an age-friendly world enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities and treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age. It is a place that makes it easy for older people to stay connected to people that are important to them. And it helps people stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages and provides appropriate support to those who can no longer look after themselves.’ The term has become synonymous with good practice in policy, law and implementation. By adopting an age-friendly perspective, the issues that are relevant to people as they age become normative considerations for the public and private sectors.
The impacts of ageing populations present invaluable opportunities to improve the quality of life of all persons. Age-friendliness creates social, health and economic opportunities for individuals and the communities they belong to and produces important benefits for governments, particularly when supported by innovative infrastructure and population policies. Technological innovations will also drive many responses to population ageing, and this presents both opportunities and risks which require the strategic application of an age-friendly lens.
A strong legal protection framework is unquestionably central to age-friendliness. The work of the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Ageing has reached a degree of global consensus that the pre-existing international legal framework fails to adequately protect the rights of older persons and needs reform. Precisely what this reform will look like will continue to take shape over the coming years to decades. Recommendations for reform have included mainstreaming age-friendly policies and practices and developing a new binding multilateral legal instrument. The content of a multilateral instrument is several years from being developed and age-friendly policies, practices and laws will continue to inform this process.
From the clarification of concepts, to the development of policies, the quality of legal protections, the regulation of industry and the promotion of business and technological innovation, it is clear that actively planning for an age-friendly world is, as the late Kofi Annan described, a priority theme of the 21st century.
Age-Friendly in Policy, Practice and Law brings together contributions from the most influential public figures and academics from around the world, producing the world’s first and most comprehensive analysis of age-friendliness in contemporary society and is an invaluable resource for policy-makers, academics and the private sector.
Arranged into thematic parts, this scholarly edited text will examine what it means to be age-friendly, including in an increasingly technological world; the role of industry and government in building an age-friendly environment; the centrality of age-friendliness to policy and sustainable development goals; legal protections and other mechanisms which promote age-friendliness. Underlying each of these considerations is the advancement of what constitutes best practice in policy and law for an ageing world.
Non-exhaustive questions which contributors are invited to consider include:
- How is and should age-friendliness be defined?
- Who benefits from an age-friendly world?
- Whose responsibility is it to promote and ensure age-friendliness?
- What are the barriers to age-friendliness?
- How can age-friendliness be guaranteed?
- What impact will the Fourth Industrial Revolution have on age-friendliness?
- How do normative and largely pejorative attitudes toward ageing impact technological and scientific investment and innovation?
- In what ways can policies be re-framed and/or mainstreamed to promote age-friendliness?
- What are specific examples of age-friendly best practices from regions around the world?
- How have governments around the world responded to ageing populations and are these responses truly and sustainably age-friendly?
- In what ways can the humanitarian and relief sectors benefit from age-friendly mainstreaming?
- Abstracts (400 words) and author biography (100 words): 15 October 2018
- Decision of acceptance: 30 October 2018
- Deadline for original manuscripts (8,000 words inclusive): 30 January 2019
- Return of manuscripts: 15 February 2019
- Final manuscripts: 30 March 2019
The edited collection will be published with an English publisher (to be announced) and likely under the imprint of a UK Press (to be announced). All manuscripts submitted will be subject to a rigorous peer review process as well as editorial and production processes.
All original manuscripts must comply with Harvard referencing requirements.
Enquiries and proposals welcome. Please email Christie Gardiner, Lecturer ANU College of Law