May 08th 2024

SDG: Goal 10 Reduce inequalities

SDG: Goal 10 Reduce inequalities aims to reduce inequalities within and between countries. This means that all people should have the same opportunities, regardless of their income, gender, ethnicity or other factors.

To achieve this goal, income growth for the poorest 40 percent of the population should be sustainably increased and discriminatory laws, policies and practices should be abolished. The aim is to promote the self-determination of all people and strengthen their social, economic and political participation.

In addition, orderly and safe migration should be facilitated and developing countries should be better represented in international economic and financial institutions. The aim is to create a fairer world in which every person has the opportunity to realize their full potential and make a meaningful contribution to society.

Sustainable income growth for the poorest 40 percent

This sub-goal aims to sustainably increase the income growth of the poorest 40 percent of the population in order to reduce income inequality. Various measures are taken to achieve this:

To ensure that all workers receive a sufficient income to cover their basic needs such as food, housing and healthcare, the aim is to promote living wages. This can be achieved through the introduction of minimum wage regulations, collective agreements and other labor law measures.

Furthermore, the creation of jobs with decent pay will ensure that people from low-income groups have access to employment opportunities that enable them to lead a dignified life. This requires investment in areas such as education, healthcare, infrastructure and renewable energy.

In addition, small entrepreneurs and farmers from low-income population groups receive targeted support through support programs, training and access to financing opportunities. This should enable them to diversify their sources of income, increase their productivity and improve their income in the long term.

Promoting social, economic and political inclusion

Promoting social, economic and political inclusion is a key sub-goal of the Sustainable Development Goals. It aims to ensure that all people have equal opportunities, regardless of their social status, origin, gender or other characteristics.

Social inclusion means that all members of a society can actively participate in social, cultural and political processes. This includes access to education, healthcare, housing and other social services as well as the opportunity to develop freely and live without discrimination.

Economic inclusion refers to ensuring that all people have access to decent employment, fair working conditions and sufficient income. This also includes the promotion of entrepreneurship and the creation of opportunities for low-income groups to become economically independent.

Political inclusion includes the participation of all citizens in political decision-making processes and the opportunity to represent their interests and concerns. This includes the promotion of democratic values, transparency, the rule of law and the strengthening of civil society.

Overall, promoting social, economic and political inclusion is about creating a society in which no one is disadvantaged because of their background or social status and all people have the same opportunities to reach their full potential.

Abolishing discriminatory laws, policies and practices

The elimination of discriminatory laws, policies and practices is a fundamental sub-goal within the sustainable development agenda. It aims to ensure that all people have equal rights and opportunities, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics.

Discriminatory laws can take many forms, from overt forms of injustice to subtle mechanisms that disadvantage certain population groups. This includes laws that discriminate against women, minorities, indigenous peoples or LGBT+ people, as well as regulations that treat social or economic groups unequally.

Policies and practices based on discrimination can be present in various areas, including education, employment, housing, healthcare and public services. This can take the form of unequal access to resources, lack of legal recognition or social exclusion.

Eliminating these discriminatory laws, policies and practices requires a thorough review and revision of a society’s legal and institutional framework. This includes the development and implementation of laws and policies that ensure equal rights and opportunities for all, as well as the promotion of awareness-raising campaigns and measures to overcome prejudices and stereotypes.

The overall goal is to create a society based on equality, respect and dignity for all people, where no one is discriminated against because of their personal characteristics or membership of a particular group.

Promoting orderly and safe migration

This goal seeks to improve conditions for people who choose to leave their home countries for economic, social or political reasons.

Orderly migration refers to people being able to migrate to other countries in a legal and orderly manner. This includes clearly defined immigration procedures that allow migrants to settle legally, work and exercise their rights without having to resort to illegal means.

Safe migration means that migrants are protected during their migration process and do not pose a threat to their lives or safety. This includes measures to prevent exploitation, trafficking and abuse as well as the protection of migrants’ rights during their stay in the country of destination.

Promoting orderly and safe migration requires close cooperation between countries of origin, transit and destination, as well as the strengthening of international cooperation and the exchange of best practices. This may include the development and implementation of migration policies and programs that address the needs and rights of migrants, as well as the promotion of education and awareness about the benefits and challenges of migration.

Ultimately, promoting orderly and safe migration aims to maximize the positive impact of migration by empowering migrants to reach their full potential and contribute to economic development while preserving their rights and dignity.

Improve the representation of developing countries in international institutions

Ensure that the voices and interests of these countries are adequately heard and taken into account, especially in decision-making processes that significantly affect their development.
Developing countries are often underrepresented and have less influence in international institutions and organizations. As a result, their needs and perspectives are not sufficiently taken into account. Through improved representation, these countries can be better involved in decisions that affect their economic development, health, environment and other important areas.

To achieve this goal, several measures need to be taken. These include increasing the participation and involvement of developing countries in meetings, conferences and decision-making processes. There is also a need to strengthen the voice and influence of these countries in the decision-making bodies of international institutions by reforming governance structures and increasing their representation.

Furthermore, the promotion of partnerships and cooperation is crucial. Developing countries must be enabled to represent their interests and strengthen their negotiating position together with other countries and organizations.

Improving the representation of developing countries in international institutions is essential to ensure that global development policy becomes more equitable, inclusive and effective. This will help to ensure that the needs and rights of all people, regardless of their level of development, are adequately addressed.

What the situation is like in Germany

In order to reduce inequalities in Germany, the focus is on integration, the promotion of equal educational opportunities and a fair distribution of income and wealth.

Integration plays a crucial role in peaceful coexistence in Germany, especially for foreigners living here. In addition to learning the German language, a qualified school education is also of great importance. Foreigners without German citizenship are less likely to complete school in Germany compared to German graduates. The proportion of foreign school leavers who achieved a higher education entrance qualification or general higher education entrance qualification in 2022 was only 13.7%, while twice as many German school leavers achieved a higher qualification.

In Germany, social benefits, social insurance and taxes are used in particular to combat income inequality. Nevertheless, the distribution of wealth remains clearly unequal. One of the reasons for this is that people in Germany rent their homes more often than they own them.

The gap between rich and poor is widening in Germany. In 2021, 37% of income went to the richest 10% of the population, while the poorest 50% received just 19% of income.

And internationally?

The principle of equality before the law ensures that every individual has the same rights and opportunities, such as the right to self-determination, access to education, healthcare and social participation. However, despite this principle, many people are denied this equality because they are affected by poverty. Poverty manifests itself in many different ways and often goes hand in hand with inequality. For example, 258 million children and young people have no access to education, almost twice as many as the total number of children in Europe. The availability of health services and gender equality are also not a matter of course for everyone.

The distribution of wealth, whether in the form of capital, resources or real estate, is also highly unequal worldwide. Since 2020, the wealth of the richest five men in the world has doubled, while almost five billion people worldwide have become poorer. For many people, hardship and hunger are daily realities. On current trends, it would take 230 years to end poverty.

Where do we go from here?

A coordinated and comprehensive approach is needed to advance the goals of equality before the law and the fight against poverty and inequality:

Policies play a critical role in ensuring equality before the law and addressing the root causes of poverty and inequality. Governments must introduce effective laws and policies that address the needs of the poor and disadvantaged and improve access to education, healthcare and employment opportunities.

International cooperation is also of great importance, as global inequalities require a coordinated response. Through cooperation between international organizations, governments and civil society actors, poverty reduction programs, education initiatives and healthcare can be expanded and improved.

Sustainable economic development plays a crucial role in reducing inequalities. Investing in anti-poverty programs, creating jobs and promoting entrepreneurship in disadvantaged communities helps to improve the living conditions of the poorest and reduce inequality.

Awareness-raising and empowerment are also important in the fight against poverty and inequality. Through education, social justice campaigns and the strengthening of community organizations, people in disadvantaged situations can be empowered to know their rights and stand up for them.

Ongoing review and adaptation are essential to ensure that the measures applied are effective and meet the needs of the most disadvantaged. Only through a continuous process of evaluation and adaptation can we ensure that we are on the right track to achieve the goal of equality before the law and successfully combat poverty and inequality.

The overview of the 17 goals can be read here

Overview of the 17 goals


You can find information from the United Nations on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) here:

Information from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development can be found here:

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