Goal 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies
Peace, stability, human rights and effective governance based on the rule of law are important conduits for sustainable development. We are living in a world that is increasingly divided. Some regions enjoy sustained levels of peace, security and prosperity while others fall into seemingly endless cycles of conflict and violence. This is by no means inevitable and must be addressed.
High levels of armed violence and insecurity have a destructive impact on a country’s development, affecting economic growth and often resulting in long standing grievances among communities that can last for generations. Sexual violence, crime, exploitation and torture are also prevalent where there is conflict or no rule of law, and countries must take measures to protect those who are most at risk.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to significantly reduce all forms of violence, and work with governments and communities to find lasting solutions to conflict and insecurity. Strengthening the rule of law and promoting human rights is key to this process, as is reducing the flow of illicit arms and strengthening the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance.
Promoting peace and justice is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.
Learn more about the targets for Goal 16.
- Among the institutions most affected by corruption are the judiciary and police.
- Corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion cost some US $1.26 trillion for developing countries per year; this amount of money could be used to lift those who are living on less than $1.25 a day above $1.25 for at least six years
- Birth registration has occurred for 73 per cent of children under 5, but only 46per cent of Sub-Saharan Africa have had their births registered.
- Approximately 28.5 million primary school age who are out of school live in conflict-affected areas.
- The rule of law and development have a significant interrelation and are mutually reinforcing, making it essential for sustainable development at the national and international level.
- The proportion of prisoners held in detention without sentencing has remained almost constant in the last decade, at 31per cent of all prisoners.
Violence against children
- The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million in 2018, the highest level recorded by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in almost 70 years.
- In 2019, the United Nations tracked 357 killings and 30 enforced disappearances of human rights defenders, journalists and trade unionists in 47 countries.
- Violence against children affects more than 1 billion children around the world and costs societies up to US$ 7 trillion a year.
- 50 per cent of the world’s children experience violence every year.
- Every 7 minutes, somewhere in the world, a child is killed by violence
- 1 in 10 children is sexually abused before the age of 18.
- 9 in 10 children live in countries where corporal punishment is not fully prohibited, leaving 732 million children without legal protection.
- 1 in 3 internet users worldwide is a child and 800 million of them use social media. Any child can become a victim of online violence.
- Child online sexual abuse reports to NCMEC has grown from 1 million in 2014 to 45 million in 2018.
- 246 million children worldwide affected by school-related violence each year.
- 1 in 3 students has been bullied by their peers at school in the last month, and at least 1 in 10 children have experienced cyberbullying.
- Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
- End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
- Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
- By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime
- Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
- Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
- Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
- Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance
- By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration
- Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
- Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime
- Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
UN Department of Political Affairs
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
UN Counter Terrorism Committee
High Time to End Violence against Children
UN action for cooperation against trafficking in persons (UN-ACT)
UN office of the special representative of the secretary-general on violence against children