SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
People have the right to be free from all forms of violence and feel safe regardless of their social status, religion, race, or sexual orientation. Insecurity, conflicts, weak institutions, and poor access to true justice remain impediments to sustainable development. Though progress has been made in recent years, societies remain far from attaining a utopian status.
According to the United Nations (UNSTATS), the number of people fleeing war, persecution, and conflict surpassed 79.5 million in 2019, the highest level ever recorded. Every day, 100 civilians are killed in armed conflicts despite protections under international law. Children of the world are still extremely vulnerable with one in four deprived of legal identity through lack of birth registration, often limiting their ability to exercise rights in other areas. Additionally, violence has affected more than 1 billion children around the world and costs societies up to $7 trillion a year, while child online sexual abuse reports to NCMEC have grown from 1 million in 2014 to 45 million in 2018. Actions to suppress freedom of speech and to express views have been a major deterrent to transparency and accountability.
From 2015 to 2019, the United Nations recorded at least 1,940 killings and 106 enforced disappearances of human rights defenders, journalists, and trade unionists across 81 countries. Judiciary and police are still among the most exposed institutions to corruption and bribes in third-world countries. Meanwhile, corruption, bribes, theft, and tax evasion in developed countries cost around $1.26 trillion per year.
Sustainable Goal #16 "Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions" invites all stakeholders to work together to implement lasting solutions to reduce violence, deliver justice, combat corruption, and always ensure inclusive participation.