SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

SDG 16 is both an objective and a catalyst for all the SDGs. Without peace, justice, and inclusion, achieving goals such as ending poverty, ensuring education, or promoting economic growth is difficult or impossible to sustain.  Supporting and promoting SDG 16 brings the promise of many desirable consequences.  Peaceful and just societies, based on the rule of law, are likely to have effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions, that protect human rights and drive the type of development that is truly sustainable.

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Top three actions lawyers can take

Legal professionals can enhance their understanding of SDG 16 by accessing widely available resources mentioned in the Guide that highlight the role of the law and of the legal profession in fostering peace, justice, and strong institutions.

Corporate counsel, as well as lawyers who advise private sector clients, can play a key role in facilitating awareness and action by integrating advise from the UN Global Compact and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Through pro bono work, advocacy, and community involvement, law firms around the world can contribute to ensuring access to justice for all. This includes enforcing the global legal order by providing pro bono support to complex, multilateral law and policy making process, strengthening access to justice and rule of law, and assisting civil society organisations and justice defenders.

Strengthening access to justice notably involves raising awareness about legal rights as well as legal aid services to overcome financial obstacles to access to justice.