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
Goal 16 aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Peace, stability, human rights and effective governance, based on the rule of law, are central to the realization of child rights, and a prerequisite for sustainable development. Governments can offer the first line of protection: birth registration systems give children claim to vital social services, equitable justice systems and other forms of child protection.
No child should ever be exposed to violence. Yet, globally, millions of children continue to face violence in their homes, schools, communities and online. Violence takes many forms: emotional, physical and sexual. Witnessing or experiencing violence erodes a child’s health, well-being and potential.
UNICEF’s contribution towards reaching this goal centres on ending the multiple kinds of violence children face around the world by supporting governments to build stronger child protection systems and challenging existing norms related to violence. UNICEF is custodian for global monitoring of two indicators that measure progress towards Goal 16: Indicator 16.2.1 Proportion of children aged 1–17 years who experienced any physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by caregivers in the past month; and Indicator 16.2.3 Proportion of young women and men aged 18–29 years who experienced sexual violence by age 18. UNICEF is also co-custodian for global monitoring of Indicator 16.9.1 Proportion of children under 5 years of age whose births have been registered with a civil authority by age.
Child-related SDG indicators
TARGET 16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
TARGET 16.2 End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
TARGET 16.9 By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration
To mitigate risks during the pandemic, governments must prioritize maintaining and adapting critical prevention and response services to protect children from violence and ensure their access to justice, as part of their public health response. UNICEF has three key asks of governments towards Goal 16:
- Peaceful societies – to protect children from violence, exploitation and abuse.
- Just societies – to ensure that every child is fully respected, protected and fulfilled.
- Inclusive societies – to engage all children in processes and decisions that affect them and society more broadly.
Learn more about UNICEF’s key asks for implementing Goal 16