2021 UNIDOP: “Digital Equity for All Ages”

The United Nations International Day of Older Persons 2021 theme Digital Equity for All Ages[1] predicates the need for access and meaningful participation in the digital world by older persons.

The fourth industrial revolution characterized by rapid digital innovation, characterized by exponential growth has transformed all sectors of society including how we live, work and relate to one another.  Technological advances offer great hope for accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yet, one-half of the global population is off-line, with the starkest differences reflected between most and least developed countries (87% and 19% respectively) (ITU Facts and Figures 2020). Recent reports by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) indicate that women and older persons experience digital inequity to a greater extent than other groups in society; they either lack access to technologies or are often not benefitting fully from the opportunities provided by technological progress.

Meanwhile, as efforts to connect more people are currently under way, new risks have become apparent. For example, cybercrimes and misinformation threaten the human rights, privacy, and security of older people. The rapid speed of adoption of digital technology has outpaced policy and governance at the national, regional, and global levels. The Secretary-General’s Roadmap[2] seeks to address these challenges by recommending concrete action to harness the best of these technologies and mitigate their risks.

Objectives of #UNIDOP2021:

  • Ageism & Human Rights

To bring awareness of the importance of digital inclusion of older persons, while tackling stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination associated with digitalization taking into account sociocultural norms and the right to autonomy.

  • Sustainable Development

To highlight policies to leverage digital technologies for full achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

  • Access & Literacy

To address public and private interests, in the areas of availability, connectivity, design, affordability, capacity building, infrastructure, and innovation.

  • Cybersecurity & Ethics

To explore the role of policies and legal frameworks to ensure privacy and safety of older persons in the digital world.

  • Accountability

To highlight the need for a legally binding instrument on the rights of older persons and an intersectional person-centered human rights approach for a society for all ages.

UNIDOP 2021 Webcast

Human rights in older age: Towards the elimination of ageism and age discrimination

Virtual side event in the run-up to #OlderPersonsDay (1 October 2021)

Date: Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Time: 8:00-9:15am EDT / 2:00-3:15pm CET

For more info, please contact: Silvia Perel-Levin at s.perel58@gmail.com.

Digital Equity for All Ages


Date: Friday, 1 October 2021 

Vienna Event: 7:30-9:15am EDT / 1:30-3:15pm CET

New York Event: 10:00-11:30am EDT / 4:00-5:30pm CET


WSIS TalkX: UN International Day of Older Persons 2021 – Digital Equity for All Ages

Date: Thursday, 30 September 2021, 16:00 – 17:00 (UTC + 2:00)

For more info, please click here.

International Screening – Duty Free: a tale of ageism in employment

Date: Sunday, 3 October 2021, 9:00am-11:00am EDT

More Resources:

  1. GAROP campaign and UNIDOP2021:
    • On UNIDOP, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People will continue to promote the ‘Age With Rights’ campaign for a UN convention. Check out the Communication Toolkit on Trello.
  2. Decade of Healthy Ageing Platform UNIDOP Hub
  3. How can we ensure digital inclusion for older adults?


[1] Digital technologies refer to a wide range of new technologies ranging from the internet, mobile phones, and all the other tools to collect, store, analyze, and share information digitally, also including Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, automation, 5G, cryptocurrencies, internet of things. https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/2021/02/online-global-dialogue-on-digital-inclusion-for-all

[2] https://www.un.org/en/content/digital-cooperation-roadmap/