Joint research by UNU-IAS and the UNU Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) has produced an article by Ana Mosneaga (Research Associate, UNU-IAS) and Michaella Vanore (Researcher, Maastricht University/UNU-MERIT) titled “An Age-Sensitive Approach to Durable Solutions”. The article was published in the May 2016 issue of Forced Migration Review, a peer-reviewed academic journal.
Noting that displaced elderly often become “invisible” due to a lack of age-disaggregated data, the article analyses the impacts of displacement on older people following disasters and conflicts. Drawing on examples of internal displacement from Japan and Georgia, two countries known for having populations with a high proportion of older people, the article 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.
The article concludes that the elderly are a fundamentally different population cohort when considering durable solutions, and presents a set of recommendations to be taken into account for designing an age-sensitive approach to addressing displacement. More broadly, given the need for age-sensitive approaches to durable solutions it is important to better profile displaced populations, to ensure that the designed solutions address the specific needs and vulnerabilities of different segments of the affected populations.