Migration and the 2030 Agenda: making everyone count - migrants and refugees in the Sustainable Development Goals

Migration and the 2030 Agenda: making everyone count - migrants and refugees in the Sustainable Development Goals

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Koch, Anne / Jana Kuhnt
Briefing Paper 11/2020

Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.23661/bp11.2020

Dt. Ausg. u.d.T.:

Migration und die Agenda 2030: Es zählt nur, wer gezählt wird - Migrant*innen und Geflüchtete in den Zielen nachhaltiger Entwicklung

(Analysen und Stellungnahmen 8/2020)

With the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its guiding principle “Leave no one behind”, the international community has set itself the goal of improving the living conditions of poor and marginalised groups. In many cases, these groups include migrants and refugees. A sophisticated review process has been set up to monitor the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Here, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) play a decisive role. Migrants and refugees were explicitly included from the outset. However, this creates additional data requirements: Data disaggregated by migratory status is necessary to capture changes in the living conditions of migrant population groups within the structured review and follow up process of the SDGs. This disaggregation allows to draw conclusions about the well-being of migrants and refugees. SDG 17.18 explicitly calls for the differentiated consideration of this population group in the SDGs, where relevant, and the necessary building up of capacities for data collection and analysis.
Census data, data from national administrative registers and sample surveys are possible data sources to achieve this objective. These data sets, however, differ in their scope and extent to which they capture different types of information. Hence, each represents only a partial reality.
Five years after the adoption of the SDGs, the balance sheet is sobering: Data disaggregated by migratory status are still lacking in most countries. As a result, there is a growing danger that existing disadvantages will become more permanent or more pronounced. In line with its overarching commitment to the implementation of the SDGs, the German government should work to ensure that migrants and refugees are systematically taken into account in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda. For the remaining period until 2030 – touted as the Decade of Action and Delivery - the following recommendations are derived:
•    Harmonise migration definitions: Data collections should apply definitions and methods recommended by the UN Statistical Commission.
•    Support data collection: The personnel and financial capacities of the national statistical authorities in partner countries should be systematically strengthened.
•    Strengthen synergies: Bridges should be built between migration-specific data initiatives and thematically broader data initiatives that are closely linked to the SDG process.
•    Expand migration expertise in the SDG review process: Migration expertise should be more systematically integrated into the SDG review process than has been the case to date in order to take greater account of changes in the living conditions of migrants and refugees.


About the author

Kuhnt, Jana

Development Economist


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