Push No One Behind

  • 1 University of Essex, Sociology, Colchester, UK
Diane Elson


One of the pillars of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the pledge to “leave no one behind”. This paper argues that we must recognise that many people throughout the world are not just being left behind. They are being pushed even further behind, and their levels of well-being are falling, often in ways from which it is impossible to fully recover. Indeed, many are confronted with forces that lead to their avoidable premature deaths. Thus, development policies should have as their first priority to ensure that no one is pushed behind. The paper argues that this could be secured through a different way of framing economic policy, that focuses on the obligations of states to respect, protect and fulfil economic, social and cultural rights. The paper also highlights the ways in which deprived people are using the human rights system to claim their rights.

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The Journal of Globalization and Development (JGD) publishes academic research and policy analysis on globalization, development and the complex interactions between them. It is dedicated to stimulating a dialogue between theoretical advances and rigorous empirical studies to push forward the frontiers of development analysis and seeks to combine academic insights with the in-depth knowledge of practitioners to address important policy issues.