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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Targets and Indicators



Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere


Number of victims of intentional homicide per 100,000 population, by sex and age


Conflict-related deaths per 100,000 population, by sex, age and cause


Proportion of population subjected to (a) physical violence, (b) psychological violence and/or (c) sexual violence in the previous 12 months


Proportion of population that feel safe walking alone around the area they live after dark



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


Proportion of children aged 1–17 years who experienced any physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by caregivers in the past month


Number of victims of human trafficking per 100,000 population, by sex, age and form of exploitation


Proportion of young women and men aged 18–29 years who experienced sexual violence by age 18



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


Proportion of victims of (a) physical, (b) psychological and/or (c) sexual violence in the previous 12 months who reported their victimization to competent authorities or other officially recognized conflict resolution mechanisms


Unsentenced detainees as a proportion of overall prison population


Proportion of the population who have experienced a dispute in the past two years and who accessed a formal or informal dispute resolution mechanism, by type of mechanism



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


Total value of inward and outward illicit financial flows (in current United States dollars)


Proportion of seized, found or surrendered arms whose illicit origin or context has been traced or established by a competent authority in line with international instruments



Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms


Proportion of persons who had at least one contact with a public official and who paid a bribe to a public official, or were asked for a bribe by those public officials, during the previous 12 months


Proportion of businesses that had at least one contact with a public official and that paid a bribe to a public official, or were asked for a bribe by those public officials during the previous 12 months



Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels


Primary government expenditures as a proportion of original approved budget, by sector (or by budget codes or similar)


Proportion of population satisfied with their last experience of public services



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


Proportions of positions in national and local institutions, including (a) the legislatures; (b) the public service; and (c) the judiciary, compared to national distributions, by sex, age, persons with disabilities and population groups


Proportion of population who believe decision-making is inclusive and responsive, by sex, age, disability and population group



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


Proportion of members and voting rights of developing countries in international organizations



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


Proportion of children under 5 years of age whose births have been registered with a civil authority, by age



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


Number of verified cases of killing, kidnapping, enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention and torture of journalists, associated media personnel, trade unionists and human rights advocates in the previous 12 months


Number of countries that adopt and implement constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information



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


Existence of independent national human rights institutions in compliance with the Paris Principles



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


Proportion of population reporting having personally felt discriminated against or harassed in the previous 12 months on the basis of a ground of discrimination prohibited under international human rights law

Progress and Info

Ongoing and new violent conflicts around the world are derailing a global path to peace and achievement of SDG 16. Onequarter of humanity lives in conflict-affected areas and as of May 2022, a record 100 million people had been forcibly displaced worldwide--more than double the number a decade ago. Citizens also face challenges accessing justice, basic services/legal guarantees and are generally underrepresented due to ineffective institutions. Moreover, structural injustices, inequalities and emerging human rights challenges are putting peaceful and inclusive societies further out of reach. To meet SDG16 by 2030, action is needed to restore trust and to strengthen the capacity of institutions to secure justice for all and facilitate transitions to drive sustainable development.

Globally, about 457,000 people were victims of homicide in 2021— the highest number of victims in the last 20 years. The noticeable spike in killings in 2021 can be partly attributed to the economic repercussions of COVID-related restrictions, as well as an escalation of gang-related and socio-political violence in several countries. The homicide rate was 5.8 per 100,000 population, marginally lower than in 2015 (at 5.9 per 100,000). Men and boys represent about 80% of victims and 90% of suspects.

In 2022, the United Nations recorded 16,988 killings of civilians in armed conflicts: a 53% increase compared to 2021, and the first increase since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. Four out of ten deaths occurred in Ukraine. One in five was a woman. The proportion of deaths by heavy weapons and explosive munitions increased significantly, from 13% in 2021 to 39% in 2022, in contrast to the steady decline over the previous five years.

Based on survey data from 114 countries, on average, approximately 69% of the population report feeling safe or very safe walking alone around the area in which they live after dark, a figure that has remained stable over the period 2016-2021. Women continue to feel significantly less safe than men.

In 75 countries (mostly low- and middle-income) with available data from 2014 to 2022, 8 in 10 children aged 1-14 years were subjected to some form of psychological aggression and/or physical punishment at home in the previous month. In 70 of these countries, at least half of children experience violent discipline on a regular basis. 

In 2020, the number of trafficking victims detected worldwide fell for the first time in 20 years, as COVID-19 preventive measures changed the dynamics of exploitation while compromising anti-trafficking responses. As more victims are likely to remain undetected, increasing efforts are needed to tailor responses to the real prevalence of the crime.

For the period 2014-2021, only 55 countries (mostly low- and middleincome) have internationally comparable data on sexual violence in childhood against girls and only 12 have produced such data for boys. Across regions with representative estimates, the prevalence of sexual violence in childhood (by age 18) among young women aged 18–29 years ranges from 1% in Central and Southern Asia to 7% in Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand).

In 2021, the global prison population was 11.2 million, remaining relatively stable between 2015 and 2021, except for a temporary decline between 2019 and 2020. Some 3.4 million of all prisoners are unsentenced detainees and their share among all prisoners has remained at around 30% between 2015 and 2021 and far from the target of equal access to justice for all.

While tracing is a key measure in the process of investigating and disclosing the origins of illicit firearms, its systematic implementation remains a global challenge. On average, Member States with available data successfully traced one-third of seized weapons that are potentially traceable between 2016 and 2021.

Globally, approximately 1 in 7 (15%) businesses face requests for bribe payments by public officials, based on establishment-level data from 154 countries surveyed during 2006-2023.

Multiple crises undermine budget credibility across all regions. The average budget deviations compared to the approved budget decreased from 5- 10% in 2015 to the target of less than 5% in 2019. However, budget credibility deteriorated and reached a deviation of almost 10% for some regions in 2020 - 2021.

In every region of the world except Europe, people under the age of 45 are significantly underrepresented in parliament relative to their share of the national populations.

By providing all children with proof of legal identity from day one, their rights can be protected and universal access to justice and social services can be enabled. In 2022 the births of around 1 in 4 children under age 5 worldwide have never been officially recorded. Only half of the children under five years of age in sub-Saharan Africa have had their births registered.

Access to information (ATI) laws provide legal guarantees of the right to information and were adopted by 136 countries in 2022, up from 105 in 2015.


Source: Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals: Towards a Rescue Plan for People and Planet - Report of the Secretary-General (Special Edition)