Assessing the sustainable development goals from a human rights perspective

Pogge, Thomas W and Sengupta, M (2016) Assessing the sustainable development goals from a human rights perspective. Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy . pp. 83-97. ISSN 2169-9763

[thumbnail of Author Accepted Manuscript]
PDF (Author Accepted Manuscript) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Official URL:


Though they improve upon the millennium development goals (MDGs), the new sustainable development goals (SDGs) have important draw-backs. First, in assessing present deprivations, they draw our attention to historical comparisons. Yet, that things were even worse before is morally irrelevant; what matters is how much better things could be now. Second, like the MDGs, the SDGs fail to specify any division of labor to ensure success. Therefore, should progress stall, we won’t know who is responsible to get us back on track. We won’t “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” without an agreement on who is to do what. Third, although the SDGs contain a goal calling for inequality reduction, this goal is specified so that the reduction need not start till 2029. Such delay would cause enormous death and suffering among the poor and enable the rich to shape national and supranational design in their own favor.

Repository Staff Only: item control page