Can the Sustainable Development Goals contribute to combatting antigypsyism?

This report, written for the European Roma Grass-roots Organisations Network ERGO, reflects on how the issue of Roma inclusion could be displayed in the Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)

In 2015, the Millennium Goals for 200-2015 have been reconverted to a more comprehensive yet localized agenda, which merges the social MDG with the Rio Global Environmental Commitments. Only now the SDGs gain traction as they are successively translated into national planning cycles. More so, public and civil oversight is getting a grasp on the power of goal-setting and indicator measurement. 


On the other hand, the European Strategy for Roma Integration, charged to each member state, has come to a point of disillusionment, where - at the near end of its planning cycle - little to no change in the living conditions and opportunities of Roma can be stated, and discrimination is even on the rise.

Within this panorama Roma activists have to identify the strategic entry points into the agenda. The paper discusses the mechanics of the localization of the SDG agenda into national and sub-national governance and provides hints for operational engagement. One major debate is whether Roma advocacy will focus on the integrating Roma issues in the social goals such as (1) poverty, (2) health, (4) education, (5) gender, (7) water, (10) equality, (11) housing, and call for a disaggregated measurement. Another entry point would be to focus on (16) discrimination and go straight towards claiming a space for combating anti-gypsyism in the SDG arena.