Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

“Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”
Violence is perhaps the most significant and destructive challenge to the development, growth, wellbeing, and the very survival of countries around the world. Fatalities resulting from armed conflict are rising in some parts of the world, causing mass displacement within countries and across borders, and resulting in massive humanitarian crises that adversely impact every aspect of our developmental efforts. Other forms of violence – crime and sexual and gender based violence – also remain a global challenge. Young people are especially vulnerable; 43% of all homicides globally involve young people between 10 and 29 years of age, and children make up a third of human trafficking victims worldwide. But violence can also take more insidious forms. The
institutional violence of unaccountable legal and judicial systems, and depriving people of their human rights and fundamental freedoms all constitute forms of violence and injustice. Corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion cost developing countries around USD1.26 trillion per year; money that could be used to lift many above the international poverty threshold of USD 1.90 a day for at least six years.
Many regions of the world continue to suffer untold horrors as a result of armed conflict or other forms of violence that occur within societies and at the domestic level. Advances in promoting the rule of law and access to justice are uneven. However, progress is being made in regulations to promote public access to information, albeit slowly, and in strengthening institutions upholding human rights at the national level. Goal 16 is dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building accountable institutions at all levels. National and global institutions have to be more transparent and effective, including local governance and judicial systems which are critical to the guarantee of human rights, law and order, and security.