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.
Ana Mosneaga (UNU-IAS) is a migration policy specialist with core expertise in labour migration and forced displacement. Currently, Ana works as Research Associate at UNU’s Institute for Advanced Studies of Sustainability in Tokyo researching displacement situation after the March 2011 disasters in Japan. She holds a Ph.D. in human geography from the University of Copenhagen. During her PhD, Ana was a guest researcher in the International Migration Branch of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva. Before joining UNU, Ana worked for the Immigration and Integration Unit of the Directorate-General Home Affairs of the European Commission in Brussels.
Michaella Vanore (UNU-MERIT) is a research fellow at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance and UNU-MERIT, where she is a researcher and lecturer on migration and development. In the course of her work at the School of Governance, Michaella has worked on projects commissioned and funded by the European Commission, IOM, ICMPD, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, OxfamNovib, UNICEF (Iran, Kazakhstan, Moldova), UNDEF, and Dutch entrepreneurial development bank (FMO). Within these projects, Michaella has addressed topics such as defining and analyzing poverty among migrant children, assessing the consequences of family-member migration for children and the elderly who remain in the home country, diaspora engagement and contributions in conflict and post-conflict settings, and remittances.