Leaving no one behind? Persistent inequalities in the SDGs

Inga T. Winkler, Margaret L. Satterthwaite

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    With a rallying cry of ‘leave no one behind’, the Sustainable Development Agenda has moved inequalities centre stage. A number of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a cross-cutting focus on inequalities and the advancement of some communities that have historically experienced discrimination. However, the litmus test for whether the SDGs will truly ‘leave no one behind’ is not the inclusion of such (aspirational) language, but whether this language will translate into implementation. In that regard, monitoring through indicators will play an important role. As metrics pegged to specific targets, indicators have the power to concentrate effort and attention. Moving beyond aggregate outcomes will require that the data related to these indicators be sufficiently disaggregated to demonstrate the existence, magnitude and interplay of multiple forms of inequalities. However, despite a mandate to produce disaggregated data, there has been little attention to disaggregation based on some of the most important axes of discrimination - especially race or ethnicity. Human rights call for focusing on those who are often pushed to the margins of society - through political, social and economic processes as well as by data collection and analysis itself.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1073-1097
    Number of pages25
    JournalInternational Journal of Human Rights
    Issue number8
    StatePublished - Oct 13 2017


    • Disaggregation
    • Human rights
    • Indicators
    • Inequalities
    • Race and ethnicity
    • Sustainable Development Goals

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Law


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