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Older Persons

UN International Day of Older Persons - October 1st

Designated by the General Assembly in 1990 by resolution 45/106.

“The elderly are among the most invisible group of refugees and displaced persons, I hope to change that.”

Sadako Ogata, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (1990-2000), 1997

A survey in 1997 indicated that older refugees make up a much larger proportion of the UNHCR caseload than previously assumed. It had long been believed that older people were more likely to choose to stay in their place of origin, or, unfortunately, to perish in flight or to pine away and die in exile. In fact, in many situations they are over-represented in refugee populations. The majority of this older population are women.

A UNHCR evaluation report identified three crucial factors all these people have in common: they are in situations of social disintegration, negative social selection and chronic dependency. See The situation of older refugees (UNHCR)

Older refugees - The International Framework & Current Situation


Selected full-text documents (for more, search in the Digital Library)


Web Resources

Selected web-based information resources (for more, search the FMO website)


Relevant Organizations

Contact details for relevant organizations (for more, search in the Organizations Directory)


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creative commons logo (CC) BY-NC-ND This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Photograph of games for older persons in Latin America.

Games for older persons in Latin America.

© World Health Organization

Last updated Sep 06, 2011