Everyday, 100 civilians including women and children are killed in armed conflicts. One in four children continue to be deprived of legal identity through lack of birth registration limiting their ability to exercise their rights. From 2015 to 2019, the United Nations recorded at least 1,940 killings and 106 enforced disappearances of human rights defenders, journalists and trade unionists across 81 countries. These facts alone are alarming and disturbing.
In a world like ours where endless conflict and violence prevails, prosperity and peace are a far cry away creating grievances that will last for generations to come.
With many issues in the world today, problems will only be solved with creative, innovative ideas and a society willing to adopt them.
United Nations has sustainable goals, imaginatively creating a Utopian world and realistically reducing grievances in the world.
The world economies have unified in their effort to achieve the goals of sustainable development. This is in sheer contrast to the earlier approaches where government pursued goals for the growth and development of their respective economies. India has shared a comprehensive role in designing and shaping our Agenda 2030, our national development targets are a close image to the Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDG). India’s commitment to SDGs have been firm and effective even before SDGs were not fully operational.
So what are Sustainable Developmental Goals?
Sustainable Developmental goals were established by the United Nations in 2015, to emphasise the importance of achieving progress on key world issues through effective, accountable and inclusive institutions.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals are 17 interlinked collection of goals generated to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” Each of the 17 broad goals are interrelated and cover vast ground on matters of social and economic development issue which include poverty, hunger, health, education, industry, climate change, gender equality, water supply, sanitation, energy, urbanisation, environment and social justice as a whole.
United Nations has a goal that dives into combatting the endless cycle of hate and violence. It promotes peace and justice for all and is known as SDG 16.
Sustainable Developmental Goal 16 (SDG 16 or Global Goal 16) is “peace, justice and strong institutions”.
Sustainable development can’t exist without peace, stability, human rights and effective governance.
With the goal in action, let us delve into the numbers and data.
The world has received mixed feedback in progress towards achieving the goal. Majority of the countries have adopted laws and policies helping the goal, 32.5 per cent of them have a weak legal framework. India’s approach towards adopting peaceful and inclusive societies and ensuring justice and security for all revolves around enabling a sustainable development framework that is reflective of the needs and aspirations of the weaker and Marginalised sections of society by ensuring that everyone has basic fundamental rights and are treated equally. Various national initiatives in the form of policies, schemes and programmes to ensure transparency and justice for all have been taken.
Since 2015, the crime rate has increased by 14.5 points, which may be indicative of improved reporting. Murder and culpable homicide has come down by 9.2% during the same period. The rate of crime against women has remained stable during the period. Crime against children rate was 28.9 per on lakh population in 2017.
In 2019-2020, India reported 2.2 murders for every one lakh population, 33 incidents of violent crimes per one lakh population and 29 cognizable crimes against children reported per one lakh population.
NITI Aayog, by government of India has been entrusted with the task of coordinating the SDG.
The government has set up Special Courts to ensure speedy trial of crimes committed against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes on the grounds of caste. Initiatives have been launched for other vulnerable groups as well. The rights of persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 lays down a concrete legal framework and provides higher visibility and entitlement to persons with disabilities.
Transparency and accountability is also ensured by the government for example- The Right to Information Act 2005 has strengthened the accountability and transparency of public institutions by making the doings of the government transparent and creating awareness among the public.
Legal identity is also ensured by Aadhaar card, covering 1.2 billion of the population.
Governments, civil society and communities must work together to implement lasting solutions to reduce violence, combat corruption, ensure justice and ensure inclusive participation. Disputes need to be resolved through functioning and justice systems. National and local institutions must be accountable and need to deliver basic services to communities equitably and without the need for bribes.
How does this goal affect us?
Crimes that threaten the structure of peace in societies, including homicides, human trafficking, all organized crimes and discriminatory laws or practices directly or indirectly affect all countries including ours, India. Even the world’s biggest democracies face major challenges in addressing these issues.
As one of the leading democracies,
Why don’t we foster change and make India a country that ensures safety and equality to all its citizens so that we can truly attain ‘peace, justice and strong institutions.’