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 has many faces. Individuals and criminal groups perpetrate violence, as do terrorists, armies, governments and their state institutions.

Wherever violence and oppression are found, there can be no sustainable development. It denies people the chance to take charge of their own lives and decide freely. If there is no security, and people fear for their possessions, their liberty or even their lives, everything else is of secondary importance. Many people around the world are fleeing their homes and living in poverty. In many countries people cannot rely on state institutions which are arbitrary and corrupt. And many births are never officially registered, which makes it impossible for these people to exercise their rights. Around the world, criminal structures have emerged in the course of globalisation and are causing tremendous harm.

What must be done?

The goal of achieving peaceful and equitable societies must be pursued by governments, civil society and citizens at local, national and international level. All forms of violence must be reduced and conflicts resolved using non-violent means. The ‘to do’ list is long: the rule of law, freedom of opinion and human rights must be promoted, while corruption and discrimination must be tackled. The international community must work to end violent conflicts and to stem the illegal arms trade. Societies can only be just if they are based on the right to equality, and if they specifically foster and protect the weaker members of society.

Facts and figures

  • People living in conflict-affected and post-conflict countries are twice as likely to be undernourished as people in other countries. The probability rises by 50 per cent if they are living below the poverty line.
  • In 2015 more than 65 million people fled their homes to escape conflicts and violence.
  • Corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion cost developing countries about 1.25 trillion US dollars every year.

16.1 Reduce war and violence

Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere

16.2 End violence against children

End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children

16.3 Promote rule of law

Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all

16.4 Combat criminal structures

By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime

16.5 Reduce corruption

Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms

16.6 Develop systems based on the rule of law

Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels

16.7 Democracy and participation

Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels

16.8 Global influence of developing countries

Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance

16.9 Legal identity for all

By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration

16.10 Free access to information

Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

16.a More capacities to combat violence

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

16.b Equality before the law

Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development

“War, just like deadly diseases, has to be prevented and cured. Violence is not the right medicine: it does not cure the disease; it kills the patient.”


Source: Right Livelihood Award

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