The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 global goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015 to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for all by 2030.
SDG 10 aims to reduce inequality within and among countries by promoting social, economic and political inclusion, empowering and protecting the rights of marginalised groups, ensuring equal opportunities and outcomes, and facilitating safe, orderly and regular migration.
SDG 11 aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by enhancing urban planning and management, providing adequate housing and basic services, improving transport and public spaces, strengthening disaster risk reduction and adaptation, and fostering cultural and natural heritage.
“Diaspora humanitarianism is not only a moral duty and a humanitarian gesture, but also a strategic opportunity to advance the global sustainable development agenda. By aligning their actions with the SDGs, diaspora communities can leverage their resources, skills and networks to make a positive difference in the world.”— Bashair Ahmed
These two goals are critical for diaspora humanitarianism because they address some of the root causes and consequences of forced displacement, affecting millions of people worldwide. Diaspora communities often have a strong connection to their countries or regions of origin, where they may have family members, friends or cultural ties. They also have a unique perspective on the needs and challenges of the affected populations and potential solutions and opportunities. By supporting the SDGs, diaspora humanitarianism can reduce inequality, enhance resilience in origin and destination countries, and foster social cohesion and solidarity among diverse groups.
Also relevant for diaspora humanitarians is SDG 17, ‘Partnerships for the Goals’:
- SDG17 aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development
- SDG17 explicitly recognises diaspora and migrants as development and humanitarian partners in their own right, and includes a target, 17.3, to ‘mobilise additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources’. One of the two agreed indicators for this target is: ‘Indicator 17.3.2: Volume of remittances (in United States dollars) as a proportion of total GDP’
Some examples of how diaspora humanitarians are contributing to achieving the SDGs include:
- Providing remittances, donations, investments or expertise to support development projects, humanitarian interventions or peacebuilding initiatives in origin countries.
- Advocating for the rights and interests of displaced or vulnerable populations in settlement countries, such as refugees, asylum seekers or migrants.
- Participating in local governance, civil society or cultural activities in settlement countries, promoting diversity, inclusion and integration.
- Building bridges between origin and settlement countries, facilitating dialogue, cooperation and mutual learning.
Diaspora humanitarianism is not only a moral duty and a humanitarian gesture, but also a strategic opportunity to advance the global sustainable development agenda. By aligning their actions with the SDGs, diaspora communities can leverage their resources, skills and networks to make a positive difference in the world.