15/06/2016: Migration seminar “Displacement and the Elderly: An Age-Sensitive Approach to Durable Solutions” by A. Mosneaga and M. Vanore
Displacement and the Elderly: An Age-Sensitive Approach to Durable Solutions
Dr. Ana Mosneaga (UNU-IAS) and Dr. Michaella Vanore (MGSoG/UNU-MERIT)
While international frameworks such as the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and the IASC framework address the “special needs” of vulnerable populations in displacement, the specific constraints and needs of the displaced elderly are not specifically elaborated on, reflecting a wider “invisibility” of older persons both in statistics of displacement and population-specific solutions to displacement. Drawing on examples of internal displacement from Japan and Georgia, two countries known for having populations with a high proportion of older people, this seminar considers implications for designing durable solutions for the displaced elderly. In Japan, it examines the displacement situation after the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, while in Georgia, it draws on the cases of those displaced by the 1991–92 secessionist civil conflicts in Abkhazia and Ossetia and by the 2008 Georgian–Russian War. Based on these two case studies, the seminar addresses how the elderly are a fundamentally different population cohort when considering durable solutions and provides a series of recommendations for how age-sensitive, “transitional yet workable” approaches to displacement can be designed for older populations.