We need a peaceful world free of conflict, injustice, and abuse to truly allow for inclusive sustainable development. To ensure stability, we must respect human rights and ensure effective governance, based on the rule of law – things that are not enjoyed by everyone yet.
Our world is increasingly divided. Some regions enjoy peace, security and prosperity, while others fall into seemingly endless cycles of conflict and violence. This is not inevitable and must be addressed. Armed violence and insecurity have a destructive impact on a country’s development, affecting economic growth, and often resulting in grievances that last for generations. Sexual violence, crime, exploitation and torture are also prevalent where there is conflict, or no rule of law, and countries must take measures to protect those who are most at risk. The SDGs aim to significantly reduce all forms of violence, and work with governments and communities to end conflict and insecurity. Promoting the rule of law and human rights are key to this process, as is reducing the flow of illicit arms and strengthening the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance (UNDP).
The threats of international homicide, violence against children, human trafficking and sexual violence are important to address to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. They pave the way for the provision of access to justice for all and for building effective, accountable institutions at all levels. While homicide and trafficking cases have seen significant progress over the past decade, there are still thousands of people at greater risk of intentional murder within Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and around Asia.
Children’s rights violations through aggression and sexual violence continue to plague many countries around the world, especially as under-reporting and lack of data aggravate the problem. To tackle these challenges and build a more peaceful, inclusive societies, there needs to be more efficient and transparent regulations put in place and comprehensive, realistic government budgets. One of the first steps towards protecting individual rights is the implementation of worldwide birth registration and the creation of more independent national human rights institutions around the world (UN).
Learn more and take action
For many years Scouts Australia has been committed to Breaking The Cycle of bullying – one of many ways we seek to encourage peace and justice through our program.
We may think of this goal as abstract – about the law, policing, parliament – though even in our own Units we support this through our Unit Code. Though how do we work towards peace, justice and inclusivity through our Unit Code? And what does it look like to not have peace, or the rule of law?
Scouts Australia’s youth program team have started developing ideas for how you might engage with each of the Sustainable Development Goals. This card challenges you to contribute to our global goal of Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions through building your understanding of these principles, and how we can support them through Scouting and the community. Every small part counts as we work towards these goals!
Share your efforts
Now that you’ve taken action, share it to inspire others. If you post to social media, please tag Scouts Australia and include the hashtags #Scouts4SDGs #ScoutsAustralia #SDG16 #PeaceJustice, and then head over to scout.org to register your project: https://www.scout.org/node/add/project