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Migration, Social Inclusion and Evaluation of Sustainable Development Goals


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It has been nearly two years since the promulgation of Sustainable Development Goals, but a recently published report, SDG Index and Dashboard – Global Report, shows that there is still a large room available for improvement of quality of data, specifically in SDGs 10. SDG Index and Dashboard – Global Report, shows that the goal 10 was only shown through the lens of Gini Coefficient, an indicator of wealth inequality, which can only describe one target 10.1 of the said Goal. However there were 7 other targets, specifically, 10.2, which focuses more on social inclusion, left without mentioning.

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On the other hand, such vagueness does not exist in other similar Goals; for example Goal 5, which advocate for women empowerment, have very clear and comprehensive targets such as ‘the targets of representation of women in parliament’, suggests a greater degree of tangibility towards goal. Such omission raises the eyebrows of development practitioners, evaluators, academia and other cynics, specifically, those who are close observer of tide of migration and changing demographics of society, regarding the aims for Sustainable Development Goals and raises questions about their credibility.

Since, globalization has caused an inundation of migrants in the developed world, which is yielding in a tangible demographic restructuring of nations’ basic compositions. For example, the Forbes 2012 describes Australia being a fourth most diverse country in terms of its labor market, where every fourth labor worker is migrant. Such a development induced another issue, the acceptance, and inclusion of these new ‘citizens’ in the society and the parameter of inclusiveness. Which consequently made it harder for authorities to formulate, uphold and monitor the track of greater inclusivity in the society. Although, it is a tricky path but in a recent research conducted at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, which later published in international journal Tarbiya1, provides a lead to loosen up the knots to determine the degree of inequity and non-inclusiveness for Migrants. Hence provides a lead for improvement of indication, specifically for Goal 10.

The conducted research in Australian context finds that migrants are facing a greater degree of exclusion and specifically Muslims migrants are as much as six times worse off from being included in the society and living an equitable life, which is followed by Buddhism and Hinduism consecutively.

In the research paper, Muslim Employment in Commonwealth Government Departments and Agencies in the Context of Access and Equity, the phenomena of exclusion was examined in three spheres for minority religions’ inclusion. At national employment level, national government department’s level and managerial levels of national government employment.

The research reveals that in Australia Muslims population makes up 2.2 percent of total Australian population while facing 12.1 percent unemployment rate, double than the national unemployment and highest amongst religious groups of Australia. It was also noted that Muslims are facing this double deprivation in the national level of employment despite having 1.7 times higher education than the average qualification in the country. It was also revealed that 52.3 per cent Muslims were noted living below poverty line threshold, with income less than US$400 per week, which was highest amongst any minority religious group.

The excerpts of the research shown in the table below represented in multiple times of proportionate displacement of all major religious group in Australia from the average unemployment of 2011. It was quite obvious that follower of Islam were facing 2.2 times exclusion for their part of employment at national level followed by another minority religion Buddhism which stands at 1.5 times exclusion from their share of employment after that Not Defined religious groups, Atheism and Hinduism faces exclusion respectively, as shown in the table.

These figures of the exclusion of employment have also been drawn on the graph to have a quick artifact assessment of exclusion of various faith follower. And it can be comfortably viewed that Muslim, Buddhism, other religions (Not defined), Atheist and Hinduism spot well above the trend line while Christianity and Judaism being major religious group enjoys extra share in employment from the ratio of their proportionate share of society when it comes to the inclusion through employment.

In second step, the matter of inclusiveness of Muslims was examined within overall national government employment structure as being an icon of a supposedly collective owned entity. The results from the data of Australian Bureau of Statistics tells that only 5,462 Muslim employees were the part of the national government employment work force of 413,449 personnel shown in the table below from the 2011 census, which makes up only 1.3 percent of whole national employment of government. This representation remained 1.7 times less than their national proportionate presence. It is interesting to note that at this particular stage all other major religious faith follower’s representation is in accordance to their composition of the nation.

At the third level of inclusion’s investigation, the research was further drilled down at the managerial level of employment the situation found pretty consistent with the previous two rounds. Once again the ABS data utilised here in the following table; where it has been shown that there were only 336 Muslims managers which makes 0.6 per cent of total managerial level staff. Thus again two times centrifuged from their composition in national government employment. This tally clearly speaks that the Muslim managers are amongst the lowest in proportion from all religious faith follower mangers. From this tally it is also became understood that other minority religions; Buddhism, faces second highest exclusion by 1.8 times, followed by Hinduism which is 1.6 times and all other religions by 1.4 times excluded from being part of the participation of the society.

Now for the sake of calculating the totality of exclusion all three rounds’ results have been added, (national level, national government level and national government managerial level), the Grand Sum provides an indication of the total exclusion of minority religious group the society and tabulated as follow.

We can see from the table of all major religious classifications; the total exclusion for Muslim turned up nearly six times followed by the follower of Buddhism 2.3 times and Hinduism 1.6 times, remained out from their due share of participation and inclusion. While mainstream religious group almost maintains their proportionate share in the society for inclusion measured with the above stated framework.

Upon extending the above pattern of research to the ‘Minority Languages’, which complement the conditions of being Cultural Diverse groups of society; results reinforce the above claims of social exclusion of minority groups. For instances, Australia’s population who reportedly speaks English at home makes about 76.8 percent of the whole population, according to the report of Immigration Department, but the same group makes up of about 83.4 percent of national government employment quota which is 1.08 time higher than their national proportionate presence. When it comes to the managerial level posts this share even goes to more than 90 percent.

The data extracted from Australian Bureau of Statistics suggests that minority languages speaker like Mandarin, Vietnamese and Arabic can face up to nearly three times of exclusion from decision making roles for the society.

Despite the availability of such data sufficient for indication of target 10.2 of SDG 10; the avoidances of including such a self-explanatory targets, raises eyebrows over the integrity of these SDGs.

Apparently, there could be two possible reasons for making SDG 10’s indicator a complicated. First the methodology and availability of data. If that’s the issue then the above stated pilot research project can provide an answer and a lead to progress. The second reason could be associated with the developed countries’ concept of self-construed perfection and a deliberated attempt to develop indicators which could cover up their internal flaws. If that’s the case then by 2030, whatever indicators wold reflect; the monitors, evaluators and public on the ground still be questioning the ‘inclusiveness’, despite the results of SDG 10’s indicators would accolade them with medals of ‘ What a great inclusive region or country’?

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