G8 Labour Ministers' Meeting

Labor Ministers Conference
Turin, Italy, November 10-11, 2000

G8 Turin Charter: "Towards Active Ageing"

  1. Older people are an asset to society. They should have the possibility of developing and using their potential to lead active, independent and fulfilling lives. A central challenge is to promote a culture that values the experience and knowledge that come with age. Policies oriented towards facilitating and supporting the participation of older people in economic and social life can contribute significantly to the goals of economic growth, prosperity and social cohesion in all countries. To this end, older people should have better access to employment or voluntary activities on the basis of ability, opportunity and choice.

  2. Population ageing is a common feature for most of the industrialised world. The dependency ratio of elderly people to those of working age has already increased and is forecast to increase more substantially in the medium-long term, particularly when the "baby-boomers" start to reach retirement age. Net migration flows may have some effects on population structure, albeit somewhat limited. We also must take into account the fact that, despite longer life expectancy, in most countries people are still retiring earlier than in the past.

  3. The rising ratio of elderly to working age people will be associated with increased expenditures in areas such as pensions and health care. These increased costs may put growing pressure on the public finances of many countries in the next decades. If the economic impact is to be contained, the employment rate of all working age people must be raised as much as possible.

    A comprehensive policy approach

  4. These demographic trends compel us to rethink the conventional concept of a three-stage life cycle of education, employment and retirement.

  5. Macroeconomic policies that encourage growth together with investment in human capital and social inclusion policies will assist in meeting the challenges of an ageing population.

  6. To promote a policy of active ageing we need the involvement and contribution of all actors. Therefore, a partnership between governments, other public authorities, employers, unions and civil society must play a leadership role in changing attitudes toward older workers, and in promoting and supporting older people's participation in employment as well as in community and voluntary activities.

  7. To successfully utilize the huge potential for increased labour force participation among older workers, we must make use of their skills, talents and experience.

    To pursue this goal, we agree that:

  8. Financial security is a key factor influencing the ability of older people to participate actively in society. The long-term sustainability of social security systems is therefore important. Many countries have already taken action through reforms to address the sustainability of pensions and other welfare provisions. These should continue to be pursued where needed, bearing in mind their broad objectives of promoting active participation and income support.

  9. In order to underpin adequate policies it is important to collect data on the most salient economic, social, physical and mental aspects of ageing. Such data will improve our understanding of the ageing process and will be further enhanced if action is taken to facilitate international comparison. We need an improved sharing of information to permit policymakers in all countries to learn from best practices.

    Conclusions

  10. We are convinced that

    Therefore, we agree that, through concerted efforts, coherent strategies and enhanced partnership with all actors concerned, we can reap the economic and social benefits resulting from increased activity of older people.

    We attach continued importance to international cooperation and to the strengthening of the dialogue with social partners in this field and we encourage also the OECD, WHO and ILO to continue their work in this area.

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