Report on the World Social Situation 2016

Leaving no one Behind: The Imperative of Inclusive Development

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In adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, world leaders committed themselves to leaving no one behind in pursuit of the eradication of extreme poverty and protection of the planet. Through concerted efforts galvanized by the MDGs, the world has made progress in reducing poverty, but social exclusion persists in both developed and developing countries. At the same time, some countries have been able to effectively promote inclusion even at low levels of income and development. This volume of the RWSS will focus on social inclusion. In particular, it will examine patterns of social exclusion and will assess whether growth and development processes have been inclusive, paying particular attention to the links between poverty and inequality trends, changes in the world of work and inclusion – or exclusion. The report will also highlight policy options to promote inclusive development through social and macroeconomic policies and institutional transformation for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.



Prejudice and discrimination: Barriers to social inclusion

The examples presented in chapter III add evidence to the fact that societies continue to make distinctions based on ethnicity, race, sex or gender and other characteristics that should have no bearing on people’s achievements or on their well-being. The unjust or prejudicial treatment of people on the basis of their identity or their ascribed characteristics is not the only driver of exclusion, but it is a particularly pervasive one. Discrimination constrains the ability of individuals to participate meaningfully in society. It affects the opportunities that people have, the choices they make and outcomes that define their overall well-being. Assessing the impact of discrimination, which plays out in law, policy and practice, and isolating its effect from that of other factors that affect participation and overall well-being is challenging, as mentioned in chapter III. The present chapter contains an overview of research on discrimination. Although the main aim is to summarize the research findings, the chapter also contains analyses of the strengths and weaknesses of the different sources of data and methodologies used to measure discrimination.


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