Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Measuring progress in the Nordic countries
Work in progress: This page is under active development.
Adopted in 2015 by all United Nations (UN) members, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a global agenda for making the world a better place by 2030. They are described by the UN as a ‘shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet‘, and goals are to be achieved by all countries, in global partnership, by 2030.
This data tracker uses the latest official data to look at how the Nordic countries are progressing towards achieving the 17 SDGs, with this page looking closer at Sustainable Development 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.
Data for the other goals can be access via this link.
Each target is presented by first looking at global trends, before zooming in on the Nordic countries and assessing their performance. The assessment is based on work by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in analysing the progress made toward the SDGs in all OECD countries.
Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
|16.1.1||Number of victims of intentional homicide per 100,000 population, by sex and age|
|16.1.2||Conflict-related deaths per 100,000 population, by sex, age and cause|
|16.1.3||Proportion of population subjected to (a) physical violence, (b) psychological violence and (c) sexual violence in the previous 12 months|
|16.1.4||Proportion of population that feel safe walking alone around the area they live after dark|
Global homicide rates (indicator 16.1.1) declined from 5.9 homicides per 100,000 population in 2015 to 5.6 in 2020. According to UN estimates there were approximately 437 000 homicide victims worldwide in 2020. Latin America and the Caribbean is the SDG region with the far highest homicide rates.
Conflict-related deaths (indicator 16.1.2) have declined significantly in recent years, standing at 4.1 per 100,000 population in 2021, which is 80% lower than in 2015.
There is insufficient data to assess global or regional trends on indicator 16.3.1.
As a measure of the feeling of safety, indicator 16.1.4 measures the share of the population who feel safe when walking alone after dark in the area they live. Approximately 7 out of 10 on average worldwide say they feel safe, a share which has remained unchanged over the last 6 years. The highest share of people feeling safe can be found in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia (approx. 8 out of 10), with the lowest in Latin America and the Caribbean (approx. 4 out of 10).
Note that the regional groupings used in the visualisation above (and all other visualisations on this page with regional data) follow the UN regional classification for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Comparable country-level data for all the Nordics is available for indicator 16.1.1 (number of victims of homicides) and 16.1.4 (the share of people feeling safe walking alone at night where they live).
On the former, the OECD has operationalised the target at 3 per 100,000 population, which all the Nordics are below as of 2019 (the latest available data).
On the latter, the OECD has operationalised the target at 97% of the population feeling safe, with Norway the closest at 93% according to data from 2020. All the Nordic countries have increased their share of people feeling safe walking alone after dark where they live.
In its combined assessment of the indicators on target 16.1, complemented by OECD data on deaths from assaults, all the Nordics are assessed by the OECD as having made progress, but not sufficiently to reach the target by 2030.
End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
|16.2.1||Proportion of children aged 1–17 years who experienced any physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by caregivers in the past month|
|16.2.2||Number of victims of human trafficking per 100,000 population, by sex, age and form of exploitation|
|16.2.3||Proportion of young women and men aged 18–29 years who experienced sexual violence by age 18|
Data for the indicators part of this target is sparse. Available data UNICEF from 76 countries for the first indicator (16.2.1), shows that 8 in 10 children from 1 to 14 had been subject to some form of psychological aggression and/or physical punishment at home in the past month. The data is based on surveys conducted in the period between 2013-2021.
Data on the third indicator from UNICEF shows that approximately 2.8% of women aged 18-29 years had experienced sexual violence in childhood. The estimate is based on data from 60 countries (only 12 countries collect data on men).
Insufficient data for assessment of progress in the Nordic countries.
Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
|16.3.1||Proportion of victims of violence in the previous 12 months who reported their victimization to competent authorities or other officially recognized conflict resolution mechanisms|
|16.3.2||Unsentenced detainees as a proportion of overall prison population|
|16.3.3||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|
Data is only available at a global and regional level for indicator 16.3.2, which shows that around 30% of prisoners were unsentenced. This share has been relatively stable over the past two decades. Central and Southern Asia had almost twice the world average, with almost 6 out of 10 of the prison population unsentenced.
The level of unsentenced prisoners as a share of the overall prison population was higher in 2020 than the earliest available data from 2003 in all the Nordic countries. Denmark had the highest shares, with over a third of the prison population unsentenced.
Given the lack of data, the OECD uses the World Justice Project Civil Justice Index as a measure of indicator 16.3.3. It is a composite index covering seven dimensions of civil justice: 1. People can access and afford civil justice; 2 Civil justice is free of discrimination; 3. Civil justice is free of corruption; 4. Civil justice is free of improper government influence; 5. Civil justice is not subject to unreasonable delay; 6. Civil justice is effectively enforced; and 7. Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are accessible, impartial and effective.
The Nordics (Iceland is not included in the index) have some of the highest index scores, indicating a high level of civil justice.
New data has been published since the OECD, hence no assessment is given.
By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime
|16.4.1||Total value of inward and outward illicit financial flows (in current United States dollars)|
|16.4.2||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|
Insufficient data are available for analysis of global, regional or country-level trends.
Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
|16.5.1||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|
|16.5.2||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|
Only indicator 16.5.2 has data at the global and regional levels. It shows that 16% of businesses have experienced at least one bribe request in the past 12 months. The data is based on surveys undertaken between 2006-2021 in 145 countries.
Insufficient data are available for analysis of Nordic countries.
Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
|16.6.1||Primary government expenditures as a proportion of original approved budget, by sector (or by budget codes or similar)|
|16.6.2||Proportion of population satisfied with their last experience of public services|
Insufficient data are available for analysis of global and regional trends.
Given the lack of data, the OECD includes a question from the Gallup World Poll on citizens' confidence in the judicial system in its assessment of OECD countries. Comparison between the earliest (2007) and latest (2021) available data shows that apart from Denmark all the Nordics are seeing increased citizen confidence shares. All are however above the OECD average (56% in 2021), with Norway having the highest confidence levels among all OECD countries.
The OECD has operationalised the target at 97% confidence levels in the judicial system, which currently none of the Nordics is on track to achieve.
Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
|16.7.1||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|
|16.7.2||Proportion of population who believe decision-making is inclusive and responsive, by sex, age, disability and population group|
Data on this target is available at the global and regional level for indicator 16.7.1 as regards female and youth representation in national parliaments. The indicator is measured on a ratio for 0 to 1, where 1 indicates that the share of women/youth in parliament is equal to the share of women/youth in the national population as a whole.
Data for 2022 shows that women and youth are underepsesented in both upper and lower/single chambers worldwide. There are significant regional variations. Australia and New Zealand have achieved full female representation in upper chambers. Europe and Northern America have achieved full youth representation in lower/single chambers. Analysis of trends over time is limited as data is only available for 2021 and 2022.
All the Nordics have high average representation rates of women and youth in national parliaments. Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden have equal or above equal representation of youth in 2022.
Due to the limited amount of historical data, no assessment of trends over time is given by the OECD.
Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance
|16.8.1||Proportion of members and voting rights of developing countries in international organizations|
Note that this target is similar to 10.6.
The chart below shows the latest available data (mainly from 2019/2020/2021) on developing countries' share of voting rights and membership in different international organisations.
The largest discrepancies between membership share and voting rights are in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (part of the World Bank), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Finance Cooperation (IFC).
Over the past two decades, developing countries' share of voting rights, as well as membership shares have remained relatively stable. One notable exception is an increase in voting rights in the IMF from 31% in 2000 to 38% in 2020.
Target not applicable to measure for Nordic countries.
By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration
|16.9.1||Proportion of children under 5 years of age whose births have been registered with a civil authority, by age|
Worldwide, 3 of 4 children under 5 have had their births registered. While many regions have achieved universal, or near universal, registration coverage in many regions has low registration levels. In Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa only 27% and 45% of children under 5 have had their birth registered.
All the Nordics have full registration coverage for children under 5 years of age.
Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
|16.10.1||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|
|16.10.2||Number of countries that adopt and implement constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information|
A total of 320 killings of human rights defenders, journalists and trade
unionists were observed in 2021, the majority of which occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, 9 cases of enforced disappearances of human rights defenders, journalists and trade unionists were observed in 2021.
Data for 2022 shows that a total of 127 countries had adopted and implemented constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information.
No country-level data is available.
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
|16.a.1||Existence of independent national human rights institutions in compliance with the Paris Principles|
The share of countries in compliance with the Paris Principles has risen steadily over the past two decades. In 2021, 43% of countries worldwide were in compliance. Compliance rates vary significantly between regions, with only 8% of countries in Oceania and 29% of countries in Central and Southern Asia in compliance in 2021.
The latest data from 2021 shows that only Denmark, Finland and Norway have Human Rights institutions in compliance with the Paris Principles. Sweden is not fully compliant, while Iceland is listed with status D, an indication of no application for accreditation with the Paris Principles.
Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development
|16.b.1||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|
No data is available for this indicator.
About the data
The data presented on global, regional, and national trends are from the UN SDG Global Database and the OECD unless otherwise stated.
The assessment of the Nordic countries is based on the findings from a recent OECD report, published in April 2022. The OECD uses a three-tier classification for each target:
- Target is achieved or on track to being achieved
- Progress has been made, but is insufficient to meet the target
- No progress or moving away from the SDG target
Note that the OECD methodology uses the current status of a target and calculates a likely trend towards 2030 based on recent progress. Thus, a country that is close to a target, but trending away from it, will be classified as having "No progress or moving away from the SDG target". Conversely, a country that is currently further away from the target, but trending towards it (and has a high likelihood of reaching it before 2030), will be classified as "Target is achieved or on track to being achieved".
- Pilot release 30 September 2022
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