Working with Older Persons in Forced Displacement


This document provides guidance for UNHCR staff and partners on protecting the rights of older persons in situations of forced displacement or statelessness.1 When responding to the phases of forced displacement (flight, displacement, return, resettlement or integration), UNHCR staff and partners need to ensure that older persons’ rights to independence, participation, self-fulfilment, dignity, and care2 are met without discrimination. To do this, teams should develop a thorough understanding of both the needs and capacities of older persons in displaced populations. Systematic application of UNHCR’s Age, Gender and Diversity Policy is central to ensuring that all persons of concern to UNHCR, including older persons, enjoy their rights on an equal footing with others, and are able to participate fully in the decisions affecting their lives and those of family members and communities, taking into account the diversity that exists among older persons.3 Furthermore, the UNHCR Policy on Older Refugees calls on UNHCR staff and partners to address the protection and assistance needs of older persons and ensure their equality of access to all measures that promote their participation and wellbeing.