/SDG 16: Peace, Justice and strong Institutions

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

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Wilhelm Guggenberger
University of Innsbruck
Tel: +43 512 507 8586

Agenda 2030

SDG 16 is focused on peace, justice and strong institutions. These main issues are further divided into 10 so-called targets, ranging from violence in general to child abuse, the rule of law, the problems of arms trade and corruption as well as to the creation of stronger institutions and the strengthening of participatory decision-making. Further topics are the inclusion of developing countries in the institutions of global governance and a commitment to providing all human beings with a legal identity. As this survey shows, SDG 16 deals with questions that are primarily social, legal and political in nature. This makes it one of the goals with the biggest openness for ethical and philosophical questions within the Agenda 2030: While some of the other goals in the Agenda are mainly directed at solving concrete problems by means of the natural sciences, several of the questions in SDG 16 demand a more theoretical approach as well as an engagement with normative considerations. This makes SDG an ideal starting point for a transdisciplinary reflection on the concept of the human being and of the human society presupposed in the Agenda 2030.

SDG 16 Targets:*

16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere

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

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

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

16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms

16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels

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

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

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

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

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

*All targets will be scientifically screened by UniNEtZ and options for meeting this target by 2030 will be developed for this purpose.

Situation in Austria

The current situation in Austria with regard to the targets of SDG 16 demands for a differentiated evaluation: Concerning targets such as the reduction of violence and the elimination of child abuse and child trafficking, Austria is among the leading countries internationally speaking. However, a closer look at the numbers reveals that there certainly is room and indeed a need for improvement in these areas as well. In other fields, in particular in the fight against corruption, there have been negative developments recently. Regarding the demand for a legal identity for all, Austria figures among the countries in which this demand has already been fulfilled. But again a more thorough investigation shows that if a more comprehensive concept of legal identity is used, there is still great potential for improvement in Austria. The same holds true with regard to issues such as freedom of information, participatory decision-making and the transparency of institutions. In all of these areas further steps are necessary in order to maintain Austria’s good standing compared to international standards and to secure the citizens’ trust in the rule of law and government istitutions. Overall, the danger of a “stagnation at a high level” is imminent. And such a stagnation can, in the long run, lead to a decline in comparison with other countries.

Option list

(based on the options report to be published)

The options elaborated by the SDG groups are to serve as a means of communicating to the federal government which concrete options can be set by Austria in order to implement the 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The options report will be published on 02.12.2021.

  • Option 16.1: Combat violence against vulnerable groups
  • Option 16.2: Promote peace research and peace education
  • Option 16.3: Combat violence on the net
  • Option 16.4: Counter violence and neglect in all sectors of society
  • Option 16.5: Combat sexual violence
  • Option 16.6: Promote non-violent coexistence among children and young people
  • Option 16.7: Comprehensive realization of children's rights
  • Option 16.8: Effectively ensure "access to justice" for children as affected persons - structural package on children's rights!
  • Option 16.9: Promote equal access to justice for all
  • Option 16.10: Promote the rule of law
  • Option 16.11: Develop valid indicators on the independence of the judiciary based on EU recommendations
  • Option 16.12: Optimize existing indicators on judicial independence based on their setting by the UN
  • Option 16.13: Strengthen executive power and push for international legal assistance
  • Option 16.14: Implement the UNCAC, GRECO and OECD recommendations on fighting corruption
  • Option 16.15: Develop and establish training and dialogue settings to support inter-organizational cooperation
  • Option 16.16: Jus Soli
  • Option 16.17: Promote alternative business models for online news providers
  • Option 16.18: Promote media education and media competence



Ideas for a global culture of remembering

  • Location: Erlerstraße 6, Innsbruck
  • Date: 30.01.2024, 19:00 Uhr

Violence must never be forgotten: Ideas for a global culture of remembering. Diverse societies must keep alive different memories of violence and discrimination. Mirjam Zadoff in conversation with Dirk Rupnow. More information may be found here.


20 years of university law

  • Location: University Vienna
  • Date: 12.06.2023, 09:00 – 13:30

The Trilateral Meeting 2023 will focus on governance and discuss it from different perspectives: How has it been implemented, how has it worked, is there a need for further development, and if so, in which direction? However, it is not only the governance of the universities by the ministry that will be addressed, but also, in particular, the governance within the universities in the interaction of the rectorate, the university council and the senate. The modes of appointment of the individual bodies will also be discussed, as well as the distribution of tasks between them.
Information, program and registration can be found here.