Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 10 aims to reduce inequality within and among countries. Inequality starts with the lottery of birth – who your parents are and where you are born – that accounts for variation in the resources and opportunities available to people. The social and economic inequalities and disadvantages in early life can limit opportunities for the realization of one’s rights and the ability to realize one’s full potential.  Discrimination based on age, gender, ethnic or racial group, disability status, sexual orientation, migratory status, residence or other factors serve to disadvantage some individuals in many different and often invisible ways, throughout their lives. These patterns of inequality get passed on from generation to generation. Therefore, early interventions and investing in all children, especially the poorest and most marginalized, is central to breaking intergenerational poverty and inequality. Achieving Goal 10 and the SDGs more broadly requires a deliberate strategy to reach the furthest behind, first.

UNICEF’s contribution towards reaching Goal 10 centres on supporting countries to enact recommendations by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Through the MICS programme, UNICEF also supports countries in their pledge to leave no one behind and eliminate discrimination by collecting data on the prevalence on discrimination experienced by individuals.

UNICEF’s work under Goal 10 also focuses on investments in social-protection programmes and policies that reduce the lifelong consequences of inequity and discrimination. Social protection, that can come in the form of universal child grants, school meals, skills development and other types of cash transfer and in-kind programmes, connects families with health care, nutritious food and quality education to give all children a fair chance in life.

10.3 Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard

Key asks

Achieving SDG 10 and the SDGs more broadly requires a deliberate strategy to reach the furthest behind, first. UNICEF encourages governments to monitor, report on and respond to the following nine key asks:

  1. End child poverty.
  2. Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all.
  3. Safeguard social spending.
  4. Eliminate laws, policies and practices that discriminate against children.
  5. Ensure children with disabilities have access to services.
  6. Build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations.
  7. Strengthen civil registration systems.
  8. Include children in decision-making.
  9. Achieve universal access to education.

Learn more about UNICEF’s key asks for implementing Goal 10