Age refers to being of a certain age or within an age bracket, or being young or old.

The prohibition of discrimination may be violated, when certain rights are denied to a person and they are treated differently better or worse than someone else because of their age. Moreover, there are different ways in which discrimination can occur, which is not always in a direct and overt manner. Therefore, it is important to recognize different types of discrimination.


Whilst discrimination based on age may occur in different areas of life, one of the areas most affected is the employment relationship. Whilst age discrimination is unlawful in any phase of employment including job postings, job descriptions, interviews, hiring, salaries, job assignments, performance evaluation, training, promotions, firing etc., it takes place in all of these phases.

example A job advertisement that seeks young and attractive female waitresses, or discourages persons over 50 from applying for a job, is discriminatory. If an employer does not offer training to an employee merely because he or she is over 55 or because he or she is too close to retirement, this may result in discrimination.

There can, however, be exceptions in the employment area where different treatment on the grounds of age can be objectively and reasonably justified by a legitimate aim.

Different exceptions based on age may also be applied in the area of goods and services.

example It is a common practice in state level policy making to deny access to certain goods and services to young people who have not reached a certain age, most often 18 years of age. For example, in most countries, including Latvia, young people under 18 cannot purchase alcoholic beverages or access nightclubs.

In this Guide, you can read more about the most common areas of daily life where discriminatory practices may occur.

Human Rights Guide

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