Latin American downtown located on the slopes of the mountains
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development reflects a consensus on the need to move towards more egalitarian, cohesive and solidarity-based societies, and is people-centred, promoting a model of sustainable development and calling for “no one to be left behind” on the road to development.


The high levels of inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean —owing to income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location or other characteristics relevant in national context— mean that SDG 10 presents a particularly serious challenge for the region. To reduce inequality, the complex social and economic processes that cause it must be understood. In addition, a broad notion of equality must be adopted, which goes beyond equality of opportunity and includes equality of means, effective equality of rights and treatment and, personal autonomy and mutual recognition of persons.


Key messages from the region on the issues addressed by SDG 10 and its targets

      • Inequalities limit economic growth and social cohesion, marginalize people and erode trust in institutions.

      • Inequalities associated with a person’s socioeconomic level, gender, ethnic, racial and territorial inequalities and those connected to the different stages of people’s life cycle, disability, migratory status, sexual orientation and gender identity all combine to form the structural axes of inequality.

      • Achieving greater equality goes beyond reducing inequality of income and opportunities; it means fighting against inequality in the area of outcomes, capacities and the exercise of rights. It also means confronting the culture of privilege, which legitimizes inequality and perpetuates it in institutional settings.

      • The region needs to implement policies that reduce wider inequalities and allow for affirmative action.
      • Addressing inequality requires differentiated treatment for persons based on the specific vulnerabilities and forms of discrimination they suffer; an approach based on universalism that is sensitive to differences is important for social policies.

      • Migration and natural disasters can contribute to inequality in the region. Migration should be regulated and facilitated, not restricted, with focus given to protecting the rights of individuals at all stages of the migration cycle. The approach to migratory governance must be comprehensive and multilateral.

      • Growth and the implementation of active redistributive policies are essential if poverty is to be reduced and the objectives of the 2030 Agenda are to be met.

    Reduce inequality within and among countries in Latin America and the Caribbean

    Reduce inequality within and among countries in Latin America and the Caribbean

    The analysis of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) presented here is the outcome of the discussions held within the framework of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and Caribbean on Sustainable Development, convened under the auspices of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Challenges and opportunities for the implementation, follow-up and review of SDG 10 and its targets

    • Challenges

      • Increasing the availability of timely, reliable and high-quality data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics that are relevant in national contexts.

      • Addressing the discontent of low- and middle-income strata by closing welfare gaps through the pursuit of universal policies.

      • Coordinating various stakeholders (political, technical and social assistance) and institutional levels (local, subnational and national) to reduce inequalities in the local policy sphere.

      • Systematic access gaps affect migrants: reducing inequality means fighting forms such as racism, xenophobia, bias and prejudice, and exploitation, and States should have effective mechanisms for protecting refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, unaccompanied children, and victims of trafficking and sexual abuse, among others, providing differentiated responses. The approach to migratory governance must be comprehensive and multilateral.


      • Incorporating civil society better into both implementation and follow-up, not only through reporting mechanisms but also consultative and executive processes.

      • Involving parliaments in the discussion on inequality and the mechanisms for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

      • Ensuring a territorial approach to tackle inequalities based on participatory policies for the implementation and management of programmes, and addressing the needs of remote or marginalized localities.

Lessons learned and good practices with respect to SDG 10 and its targets

      • The Agreement on Residence for Nationals of States Parties of MERCOSUR, Bolivia and Chile enabled about 2 million people to regularize their status in Argentina.
      • In Panama, the use of the social inequality matrix approach is helping to start up a capacity-building process among government officials to implement more equitable public policies.

Recommendations from Latin America and the Caribbean to achieve SDG 10 and its targets

      • Prioritizing fiscal sustainability: increase permanent revenue to finance regular social expenditure that guarantees the provision of basic and universal welfare.

      • Adopting an active fiscal policy to address vulnerabilities and lack of access to rights: reduce tax evasion; make the tax structure more progressive by strengthening direct taxes on personal income; re-think tax expenditures; and develop a new generation of taxes.

      • Various actions to reduce inequality can be promoted from within the private sector, such as gender equality initiatives, training for various groups, and productive credits.

      • Urgently adopting a broader concept of social protection, linked up with productive policies.

      • Combating poverty and inequality through a long-term territorial approach: knowing the local territory is essential for policy development.
      • Conveying the 2030 Agenda to public officials at the local level and to the various institutions to enhance efforts being made within each area.

      • Establishing mechanisms to facilitate participation in design, management and implementation by those affected by policies.

      • Strengthening social institutions within and among the different political and administrative levels.

      • Incorporating the notion of multiculturalism and interculturalism in developing public policies.