SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies

SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies
Rose, 26, prepares food for the family she works for in Nairobi, Kenya (Photo: Kate Holt / Solidarity Centre)

Sustainable development goal (SDG) 16 focuses on society as a whole; aiming to reduce violence, promote the rule of law, strengthen institutions and ensure access to justice. Many of the other SDGs play into the success of SDG 16; there can’t be sustainable development without peace, stability, observance of human rights and effective governance, based on the rule of law.

Armed violence and insecurity have a destructive impact on a country’s development, affecting economic growth, and often resulting in grievances that last for generations. Sexual violence, crime, exploitation and torture are also prevalent where there is conflict or no rule of law, and countries must take measures to protect those who are most at risk

According to the UN Development Programme, by the end of 2017 68.5 million people had been forcibly displaced as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations and 1 billion people were classed as legally ‘invisible’ as they could not prove who they were. Without strong institutions and a rule of law, exploitation will continue to take place leading to millions more people becoming trapped in slavery.

 

SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies
Rose, 26, prepares food for the family she works for in Nairobi, Kenya (Photo: Kate Holt / Solidarity Centre)

At Arete, we work with organisations such as Solidarity Centre, which aim to end the slave trade for good. Often in poorly developed countries, Solidarity Centre rescues hundreds of people from slavery each year. When documenting this it is essential to highlight individuals stories — helping the viewer understand how they got there in the first place and what could have been done to prevent it.

In a story covered by Arete photojournalist Kate Holt, Rose, a Kenyan citizen, was recruited for what was believed a well-paid job in Saudi Arabia. When she arrived her passport was confiscated and she was trapped. What followed was 2 years and 7 months of enslavement, working all hours of the day with little food or water. Only by publicly telling these often heartbreaking stories, can organisations such as Solidarity Centre hope to gather enough support to combat modern slavery.

To mark the first UN summit on the SDGs on 24th and 25th September 2019, we have been publishing a daily blog on how we help organisations to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Check out our blogs here.