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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.





  • This report underscores the interrelatedness of gender-responsive laws, justice policies, institutions and budgets – elements which are critical to ensuring justice for women.

    Representing the third in a series, this report embarks upon this global desk review examining how much public financing is being invested to prevent and respond to violence against women.

  • SDG 16 as a compass for navigating intersecting crises: SDG 16 Conference 2023

  • IDLO’s Annual Report for 2020 offers a tangible demonstration of how its work contributed to global COVID-19 response and recovery efforts over the past year. Throughout the crisis, IDLO offices around the world remained operational, pivoting quickly to support our partners to respond to the unprecedented range of legal and justice challenges presented by the pandemic.

  • #Justiceforwomen and girls is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda, with its commitments to gender equality (SDG 5) and its promise of peaceful, just and inclusive societies (SDG 16). The High-level Group on Justice for Women worked to better understand common justice problems for women, make the case for investment and identify strategies that work.

Speeches, Advocacy and Policies

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