SDG 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”*. SDG 16 covers a lot of ground but is centered towards the notion of keeping societies as a whole, operational and equitable for all. People deserve to be free and comfortable in the own towns and cities, no matter what they race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Discrimination and conflicts reduce a societies ability to flourish and threatens innovations that may radically improve individuals’ livelihoods. In 2019, the total number of people fleeing from wars and conflicts was around 80 million, which is the highest ever recorded**.
Another significant issue is providing the necessary documentation for children, currently 25% of children under the age of 4 don’t have a proper legal identity**. The main implications of this is that it dramatically reduces their ability to create bank accounts, seek asylum and travel, which can be the start of a long and arduous poverty cycle, all because they didn’t receive a birth certificate. To achieve peace, justice and strong institutions there needs to be unprecedented amounts of collaboration between governments, communities and societies to actively reduce the violence, administer justice, fight corruption and eliminate discrimination. It’s pivotal that people feel comfortable with their freedom to express their own views in private and public.
Moreover, laws and policies need to be enforced in a manner that doesn’t involve any form of discrimination and justice systems need to be functioning to allow for disputes to be solved in a civil method. Without proper intervention, violent groups have the ability to hold back the economic progression of a country and can devastate the dynamics of Communities.
How business can assist with SDG 16:
The most prominent way that businesses can assist with SDG 16 is by promoting inclusion and by treating all people equally, irrespective of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or other. By feeling comfortable to express your own opinions it can also reduce groupthink amongst colleagues and result in diverse ideas and creative solutions. B developing systems that enable employees to feel comfortable raising concerns about conduct within an organisation, may also help accomplish SDG 16.