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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.

Rule of law drives sustainable development at local and global levels

The principles of the rule of law – equality, equity, inclusion, rights, laws and institutions – are embedded throughout the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and well-articulated in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, which 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”.

Access to justice and the rule of law enable people to resolve conflicts, claim their rights and seek and obtain remedies. They help to level the playing field between the vulnerable and the powerful by addressing issues of impunity, corruption and discrimination.

That makes SDG 16 a critical driver for the achievement of all other SDGs. Neither food security nor gender equality, neither poverty eradication nor economic development can be advanced without respect for the rule of law.

Having been an ardent advocate for the inclusion of SDG 16 in the 2030 Agenda, IDLO is fully committed to advancing the SDGs. Whether in fragile contexts, emerging democracies or middle-income countries, IDLO contributed to the 2030 Agenda in 2017 through its programs, research and policy advocacy, positioning the rule of law as a key ingredient for sustaining peace and sustainable development.

Building institutions for peace and justice, strengthening accountability, empowering women and girls, fighting corruption, protecting biodiversity and promoting inclusive economic growth are some of the ways in which IDLO’s programs and other activities furthered the implementation of the SDGs in 2017.

Engaging in policy dialogue with governments, donors and policy thinkers at global and national levels in 2017, IDLO highlighted the significance of the rule of law for the achievement of Agenda 2030. Its advocacy was backed by robust research drawing on the lessons learned from its programmatic experience.     

New International Advisory Group Steers Global Corrections Curricula, with Support from IDLO and INL

At any given time in the world, 11.5 million people spend their days behind bars, often pending trial and in overcrowded cells. Prisons operating above their occupancy limits are difficult to manage. In many countries, this translates into corrections systems where international human rights standards and respect for the rule of law are rarely implemented.

IDLO Director-General, Jan Beagle's Statement on The High-Level Dialogue on Customary and Informal Justice and Sustainable Development Goal 16+

Colleagues and friends,

On behalf of the International Development Law Organization, the only global intergovernmental organisation exclusively devoted to promoting the rule of law to advance peace and sustainable development, I would like to say what a pleasure it has been to take part in this important Dialogue.


Key Initiatives

  • Corruption is a complex social, political and economic problem which undermines democracy, human rights and governance by weakening state institutions, eroding public confidence and hindering the pathway towards sustainable development. The 2019 Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer found that 80% of citizens of the Bahamas considered corruption in government to be an important issue.
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