The 17 Sustainable Development Goals give us a global plan for a sustainable future – economically, environmentally, and not least, socially. Refugees and displaced people are today among those furthest behind when it comes to reaching the goals. This is something that we at DRC Danish Refugee Council want to change.
DRC contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) build on the commitment of all countries to ‘leave no one behind’. This global, inclusive pledge corresponds closely with the mission of DRC Danish Refugee Council, and that is why it is natural for us to support the SDGs in our work.
Today, refugees and displaced people are among those that are furthest away from reaching the SDGs’ targets and aspirations.
At DRC, we are working to reduce this gap moving towards 2030 – as the refugees’ spokesperson, through positive action, and through involvement in strategic partnerships.
If we do not improve the situation for refugees and displaced people and ensure sustainable solutions for conflict-affected countries, we will not achieve the SDGs for everyone.
Goal 1: No poverty
Refugees and displaced persons are left behind economically when losing their jobs, livelihoods, assets and land. The longer displacement continues, the greater the risk that displaced persons lose skills to be self-reliant. Instead, they become vulnerable to economic exploitation and dependent on humanitarian aid. DRC works to close this gap by offering emergency aid and long-term solutions, such as income generation and ensuring equal access to social rights.
Goal 4: Quality Education
Refugees and displaced persons are behind the education curve. Every second refugee is a child below the age of 18. Losing their access to education and being met by language barriers and, at times, discrimination in new school systems creates a great risk of these children becoming a lost generation. DRC advocates for inclusion in the education system and supports host communities to include displaced persons, so that no generation is left behind.
Goal 5: Gender Equality
SDG 5 reaffirms commitments under international law to empower women and girls, including the elimination of discrimination and gender-based violence (GBV). During displacement and humanitarian crises, preexisting patterns of gender discrimination and vulnerabilities are exacerbated, placing women and girls at disproportional risk. DRC is committed to promoting gender equality through humanitarian action, and our work addresses the gender-specific barriers and challenges experienced by women and girls throughout all phases of displacement.
Goal 8: Decent work and Economic growth
Refugees and displaced persons are far behind in the labour market, as the effect of displacement leaves them with a natural disadvantage compared to the host population. Reducing this gap will result in displaced persons more quickly becoming a resource in their new environments, with the ability to build a better future for themselves, their families and society as a whole. DRC works to secure equal access to the labour market, and create sustainable, decent jobs for displaced and host community members. This is done in close collaboration with private sector partners.
Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
Refugees and displaced persons are in need of protection and access to basic human rights. The root causes of displacement are human rights violations, risk of persecution, conflict, poor governance and loss of livelihoods. If rule of law, peace, and strong institutions were present everywhere, and if human rights were respected, there would be no displacement. Therefore, DRC works with partners to promote respect for human rights, to strengthen the governance capacity of local and national authorities, and to build inclusive, sustainable livelihoods. Progress on SDG 16 is critical for the prevention of future displacement and for ending current displacement.