Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Central to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the need to promote peaceful and inclusive societies based on respect for human rights, the rule of law and transparent, effective and accountable institutions. A number of regions have enjoyed increased and sustained levels of peace and security in recent decades. But many countries still face protracted violence and armed conflict, and far too many people are poorly supported by weak institutions and lack access to justice, information and other fundamental freedoms. Efforts are under way to make national and international institutions more effective, inclusive and transparent. Today, more than half the world has internationally recognized human rights institutions. However, significant challenges remain, including lack of data on various forms of violence against children and other vulnerable groups, access to justice and public access to information.

Intentional homicide rates vary widely across regions

Worldwide, the number of victims of intentional homicide per 100,000 people was estimated at between 4.6 and 6.8 in 2014. However, the homicide rate in developing regions was twice that of developed regions and, in Latin America and the Caribbean, it was four times the world average.

Number of victims of intentional homicide per 100,000 population, 2014 or latest year

Children, a majority of them girls, represent almost 30 per cent of victims of human trafficking worldwide

Various forms of violence against children persist, including human trafficking and sexual violence. Globally, the share of girls and boys among victims of human trafficking peaked in 2011, at 21 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively, of cases detected by authorities that year. Girls who are victims of human trafficking are often subjected to sexual exploitation, forced marriage and/or domestic servitude. Underreporting and lack of comparable data remain stubborn obstacles to understanding the full extent of sexual violence against children. Survey data from 31 low- and middle-income countries suggest that the proportion of women aged 18 to 29 years who experienced sexual violence for the first time before age 18 may be as high as 16 per cent.

Proportion of children among detected victims of trafficking in persons worldwide, by sex, 2004−2014 (percentage)
* Preliminary data

Thirty per cent of prisoners worldwide, two-thirds of them in developing countries, are being held without being sentenced

Worldwide, the proportion of people held in detention without being sentenced for a crime decreased only slightly over the last decade—from 32 per cent of total detainees in 2003-2005 to 30 per cent in 2012-2014. The figure for developing regions has on average been higher than that for developed regions. The highest rate of unsentenced detainees was in Southern Asia, where, despite recent progress, about two out of three prisoners remained unsentenced in 2012-2014. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the region with the second highest percentage, the share of persons held in detention without being sentenced remained practically unchanged over the last decade, at 43 per cent.

Unsentenced prisoners as a percentage of total prisoners, 2003-2005 and 2012-2014

Birth registration is the first step in securing recognition before the law, yet one in four children are denied this fundamental right

Registering children at birth is the first step in securing recognition before the law and safeguarding individual rights and access to justice and social services. However, the births of more than one in four children under age 5 worldwide go unrecorded. In sub-Saharan Africa, the share is over half (54 per cent). In the LDCs, one in two children have not been registered by their fifth birthdays. Globally, children living in urban areas are around 1.5 times more likely to be registered than their rural counterparts. And in most regions, birth registration rates tend to be highest among the richest 20 per cent of the population.

Estimated proportion of children under 5 whose births were registered, 2010-2015 (percentage)

Note: Estimates are based on a subset of 144 countries covering 92 per cent of the global population of children under age 5. Data coverage was insufficient to calculate regional estimates for Eastern Asia, Oceania, and the Caucasus and Central Asia.