SDG 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





UNODC provides normative, analytical and operational assistance to Member States for strengthening the effectiveness, fairness and accountability of their criminal justice institutions to tackle crime, corruption and terrorism. UNODC's work therefore supports all the Targets included under SDG 16, and in particular the following:

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


Access to justice for all is a focus area in UNODC's work on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. UNODC supports the establishment of effective, fair and humane criminal justice systems. Recognizing that poor prison conditions and prison overcrowding point towards systemic deficiencies in States' justice systems, UNODC promotes penal and prison reform, as well as access to justice. These areas include a lack of: access to legal aid; alternatives to imprisonment; youth crime prevention programmes; offenders' rehabilitation; social reintegration measures; as well as the overuse of pre-trial detention.

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


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


 The UNODC-UNICEF Global Programme on Violence against Children supports countries to ensure that children are better served and protected by justice systems, and that measures are put in place to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against children, supporting the achievement of Targets 16.2 and 16.3.

Through its data collection for the biennial Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, UNODC supports the monitoring of the exploitation and trafficking of children. UNODC is also well placed to monitor Target 16.3 through its annual United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (UN-CTS) and its annual report on 'World crime trends and emerging issues and responses in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice' to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

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


UNODC offers Member States a full spectrum of tools to strengthen anti-money laundering legal frameworks and develop capacities of national agencies to investigate money laundering and terrorism financing, disrupt illicit financial flows and support the recovery of stolen assets. Asset recovery is the most innovative chapter of the United Nations Convention against Corruption on which UNODC's work in the domain rests. In the framework of the second cycle of the UNCAC review mechanism the States' efforts to adopt asset recovery measures will be reviewed over the next five years.

Through various global programmes on money laundering, counter-terrorism and organized crime, UNODC and its partners at international and regional levels have been supporting the establishment and activities of various regional cooperation structures in prosecution, law enforcement, financial intelligence and asset recovery. In particular, since 2007 UNODC and the World Bank have cooperated through the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative, a joint programme working with developing countries and financial centres to prevent the laundering of the proceeds of corruption and to facilitate more systematic and timely the return of stolen assets.

Further, UNODC carries out research and data collection in several areas connected to organized crime including firearms, drugs and other illicit markets, wildlife crime and trafficking in persons. UNODC has also assessed the impact of organized crime particularly in its Transnational Organized Crime Threat Assessments.

Target 16.5: Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms


The United Nations Convention against Corruption contains the most comprehensive set of legal commitments by Governments to tackle corruption, including bribery. Under the auspices of UNODC, the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention met in November 2015 in St. Petersburg and identified a number of avenues for UNODC to further strengthen capacity and cooperation against corruption and bribery in all its forms - an explicit Target of the SDG's . The effective implementation of the Convention is being assessed under the framework of the Implementation Review Mechanism through a peer review exercise with each of the 178 States parties being reviewed for their compliance by two other States parties with the support of the Secretariat provided by UNODC. Based on the requirements of the Convention and the findings of the country reviews, UNODC assists Member States in preventing, detecting, investigating and sanctioning corruption and in promoting international cooperation against corruption, as well as the recovery of proceeds of corruption, both domestically and internationally.

UNODC is at the forefront of developing standard surveys measuring the experience of corruption and setting standards for measuring various aspects of corruption. As such the results of the country reviews carried out within the framework of the Implementation Review Mechanism provide an objective basis to assess the efforts made by countries in preventing and combatting corruption.

Target 16.6: Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels


UNODC supports efforts by States to develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions through the comprehensive implementation of chapter II of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. This work includes policies, legislation and mechanisms to strengthen the prevention of corruption at all levels, Through its role as Secretariat to the Working Group on the Prevention of Corruption - a body established by the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention - UNODC facilitates the sharing of information on lessons learned and the adaptability of good practices on the prevention of corruption in public and private sector institutions, including accountability measures, strengthening professionalism and integrity, and promoting public access to information and the transparency of institutional functions and services.

In advance of the forthcoming review of the effective implementation of chapter II under the framework of the Implementation Review Mechanism, UNODC has promoted and supported early reporting by States of progress in the implementation of chapter II. In addition, UNODC has produced guidance materials and provided technical assistance to support States in such areas as the development and implementation of comprehensive anti-corruption strategies, strengthening judicial and prosecutorial integrity and accountability, developing asset and interest disclosure procedures to avoid conflicts of interest, promoting transparency in public procurement, and measures to protect witnesses and whistle-blowers.

In addition, UNODC promotes transparency and the prevention of corruption in the private sector, in partnership with the United Nations Global Compact. This work includes the development of tools and training materials to further integrity and transparent business practices across the private sector as well as engagement with other bodies, such as the G20 and its Business-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group as well as the World Economic Forum.

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

In designing and delivering its programmes, as well as in the international policy debate around its mandates, UNODC encourages and facilitates the participation of a wide range of civil society organizations, contributing to an open, responsive and accountable decision-making process on crime- and drug-related matters at the international level. Examples of this work include multi-stakeholder workshops on the United Nations Convention against Corruption to allow civil society to be equipped and participate in the Implementation Review Mechanism of the Convention.

UNODC is scaling up its regular data collection and analysis system to make it fit to the needs of monitoring SDG 16. Furthermore, UNODC is consolidating its long-time global series related to homicide, trafficking in persons and criminal justice efficiency, among others, as well as refining the indicators to address new needs, while at the same assisting countries to strengthen their capacity to monitor SDG 16.

Target 16.a.1: 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.


For each of these Targets, the international community has agreed on specific indicators that are based either on data collected from administrative sources or on data derived from sample surveys and UNODC offers its experience in monitoring the relevant indicators to assess progress towards the SDG's.

In addition, UNODC's global collection of administrative and survey data on crime and criminal justice and the promotion of crime victimization surveys, provide the statistical evidence base for monitoring patterns and trends of crime and the criminal justice response to crime, and for evaluating policy interventions and crime prevention measures. Under SDG 16, UNODC is the international lead organizations for compiling statistical indicators for a number of SDG Targets and plays an important part in measuring other Targets as well.