The Sustainable Development Goals and our contribution

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals give us a global plan for a sustainable future, both economically, environmentally and not least socially. Refugees and displaced people are today among those furthest behind when it comes to achieving the goals. This is something that we in the Danish Refugee Council want to change.

About the goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) build on the commitment of all countries to ‘leave no one behind’. This global, inclusive pledge corresponds closely with the mission of Danish Refugee Council (DRC), and that is why it is natural for us to support the SDGs in our work.

Today, refugees and displaced people are among those that are furthest away from reaching the SDGs’ targets and aspirations. In DRC, we want to work to reduce this gap moving towards 2030 – as the refugees’ spokesperson, through positive action and through involvement in strategic partnerships.

If we do not improve the situation for refugees and displaced people and ensure sustainable solutions for conflict-affected countries, we will not achieve the SDGs for everyone.

Our contribution

In DRC, we have mapped how we contribute to the sustainable development goals. The mapping shows that our work has a positive influence on almost all of the goals, but a greater positive impact on these five goals:

UN1 No Poverty



Goal 1: No poverty

Refugees and displaced persons are left behind economically, when losing their jobs, livelihoods, assets and land. The longer displacement continues, the greater the risk that displaced people lose their ability to be self-sufficient, and instead become vulnerable to economic exploitation and dependent on aid.
DRC works to close this gap by offering emergency aid and long-term solutions such as income generation and ensuring equal access to social rights.


UN4 Quality Education


Goal 4: Quality Education

Refugees and displaced persons are behind the education curve. Every second refugee is a child below 18 years. Losing their access to education and being met by language barriers and, at times, discrimination in new school systems creates a great risk of a lost generation.
DRC offers education and support integration in host communities, so that no generation is left behind.


UN5 Gender Equality



Goal 5: Gender Equality

Displaced women are an especially vulnerable group left behind. They experience greater risks of physical and sexual assaults, and face discrimination when trying to access a range of basic rights to build their future on.
DRC works to protect women and other vulnerable groups by providing physical and psychosocial support, protection in refugee camps and including gender-specific concerns in all aspects of our work.


UN8 Decent Work Economic Growth





Goal 8: Decent work and Economic growth

Refugees and displaced persons are far behind on the labour market as the effect of displacement leaves them with a natural disadvantage compared to the host population. Reducing this gap will result in displaced people more quickly becoming a resource in their new environments with the ability to build a better future for themselves, their families and societies.
DRC works to secure equal access to the labour market, and create sustainable, decent jobs for displaced and host community members. This is done in close collaboration with private sector partners.


UN16 Peace Justice Strong Institutions




Goal 16: Peace, Justice and strong Institutions

Refugees and displaced persons are behind on access to basic human rights. If rule of law, peace and strong institutions were present everywhere, there would be no displacement. The roots to displacement are violence, conflict, weak institutions and fragile and dysfunctional societies.
Therefore, DRC works to inform refugees and displaced persons of their rights, build up the capacity of local authorities and reduce conflict, violence and access to weapons. Only if we progress on goal 16, will we be able to find durable solutions to displacement.


Our areas of improvement

DRC’s work touches upon almost all the SDGs, but there are areas where we would like to improve. Goal 12 and 13 are areas of improvement while we strategically wish to improve our influence to a greater degree when it comes to goal 5:

UN12 Resonsible Consumption Production


Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

Delivering humanitarian aid in +35 countries requires an efficient and responsive model and engagement with relevant suppliers. In 2019 DRC will upgrade its supplier management process to promote practices that are increasingly based on sustainability and ethical parameters.



UN13 Climate Action


Goal 13: Climate action

DRC will in the coming years enhance its work with climate-induced displacement and conflict. Climate change exacerbates and drives conflicts leading to more displacement and is expected to increase in scope and complexity towards 2030. Further, priority will be given to policies on how DRC can go about its day-to-day work in the most climate friendly manner, starting in 2019 with an updated climate policy.


UN5 Gender Equality


Goal 5: Gender Equality

DRC already has a positive impact on gender equality, but it’s also an area, where we have the potential to have an even greater, positive impact. Many aspects of our work touch upon gender sensitive areas and therefore we wish to work even more actively with the goal.




For more information, please contact Anders Bech Tharsgaard, Head of Business Engagement, phone: +45 3373 5252 or email: [email protected]