SDG 16 Peace and Justice, Strong Institutions

SDG 16 aims to promote peace, justice and the institutions that support and protect the rights of citizens which are the foundations of sustainable development. People need to be free of fear from violence and feel safe wherever they go, regardless of their ethnicity, faith or sexual orientation. Crime and violence threaten peaceful societies, and even in the world’s greatest democracies, corruption, crime and human rights violations still occur. This goal is all about ensuring our communities, governments and institutions protect and promote inclusion and respect toward people of all backgrounds.

You might also be able to align your teaching to this SDG if you want your students to be able to:

  • Interpret concepts of justice, inclusion and peace and their relation to law, both in their country and internationally.
  • Discuss the importance of individuals and groups upholding justice, inclusion and peace in their country and internationally.
  • Design processes which bring peace and  justice to institutions in their country.
  • Reflect on their role in issues of peace, and show solidarity for those suffering from injustice in their own country and abroad.
  • Critique issues of peace, justice, inclusion and strong institutions in their region, nationally, and globally.

You might consider having your students reflect, share, act in some of these ways:

  • Support local organizations which align with your learning goals. Find out what social justice struggles are important to students and your community and find ways to support organizations doing this kind of work. Have students give time, talent and resources to help make a difference for people who have faced exploitation, violence, and discrimination.
  • Explore the YMCA’s Peace Building Activity Guide. It includes activities for children, youth and adults.
  • Connect with St. Thomas More College Centre, a USask federated college, for more about outreach in Catholic studies, Critical Perspectives on Social Justice and the Common Good, and Peace Studies at the Centre for Faith, Reason, Peace, and Justice.

Some curricular connections and questions for students might be:

Media – Why is it important to be critical of media in relation to reporting conflict?

Oppression and genocide – How do genocides begin and what can be done at different levels to intervene?

Environment – How do peace and justice impact our environment?

Gender politics – How are justice systems impacting gender inequalities?

Poverty, wealth and power – How does extreme wealth and corruption contribute to the poverty cycle?

Social justice and human rights – What is the process of reporting a human rights abuse? How are they dealt with?

Indigenous Peoples – What is unique about Indigenous justice systems and what can Canada or other colonial systems learn from them?

Health and biotechnology – How does peace impact our health?

Peace and conflict – How has the idea of world peace changed over time? How are genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity prosecuted?


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