Sustainable Development Goals

Charting progress towards SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Visualising global and regional trends

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 page provides a selection of visualisations on global and regional trends for 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.

The visualisations use the latest official data from the United Nations SDG Global Database.

Target 16.1

Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere


16.1.1Number of victims of intentional homicide per 100,000 population, by sex and age
16.1.2Conflict-related deaths per 100,000 population, by sex, age and cause
16.1.3Proportion of population subjected to (a) physical violence, (b) psychological violence and (c) sexual violence in the previous 12 months
16.1.4Proportion 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, 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.

Target 16.2

End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children


16.2.1Proportion of children aged 1–17 years who experienced any physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by caregivers in the past month
16.2.2Number of victims of human trafficking per 100,000 population, by sex, age and form of exploitation
16.2.3Proportion 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 from UNICEF for 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 (16.2.3), also 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).

Target 16.3

Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all


16.3.1Proportion of victims of violence in the previous 12 months who reported their victimization to competent authorities or other officially recognized conflict resolution mechanisms
16.3.2Unsentenced detainees as a proportion of overall prison population
16.3.3Proportion 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, and shows that around 30% of prisoners were unsentenced worldwide as of 2020. 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 being unsentenced.

Target 16.4

By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime


16.4.1Total value of inward and outward illicit financial flows (in current United States dollars)
16.4.2Proportion 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 or regional level.

Target 16.5

Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms


16.5.1Proportion 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
16.5.2Proportion 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 global and regional levels. Based on surveys undertaken between 2006-2021 in 145 countries, 16% of businesses report that have experienced at least one bribe request in the past 12 months. The highest share is in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia where almost 1 of 3 business report receiving such requests.

Target 16.6

Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels


16.6.1Primary government expenditures as a proportion of original approved budget, by sector (or by budget codes or similar)
16.6.2Proportion of population satisfied with their last experience of public services

Insufficient data are available for analysis of global or regional trends.

Target 16.7

Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels


16.7.1Proportions 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
16.7.2Proportion of population who believe decision-making is inclusive and responsive, by sex, age, disability and population group

Data for is partly available at the global and regional level for indicator 16.7.1, covering 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.

Target 16.8

Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance


16.8.1Proportion of members and voting rights of developing countries in international organizations

Note that this target is similar to Target 6 under SDG 10.

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 16.9

By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration


16.9.1Proportion of children under 5 years of age whose births have been registered with a civil authority, by age

75% of children under 5 worldwide have had their births registered, according to the lastest data from 2021. While many regions have achieved universal (or near universal) registration coverage, low registration levels persist in other regions. In Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa, only 27% and 45% of children under 5 have had their birth registered.

Target 16.10

Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements


16.10.1Number 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
16.10.2Number 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 killings 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.

Target 16.a

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.1Existence of independent national human rights institutions in compliance with the Paris Principles

Global trends

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.

Target 16.b

Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development


16.b.1Proportion 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 and regional trends are from the UN SDG Global Database.


  • First release November 2022

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