Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Around the world, millions of people live in fragile, conflict-affected areas. At the end of 2019, some 1% of the global population had been forcibly displaced.

During 2019, two-thirds of the 437 000 homicide victims globally were in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

UCT’s Faculty of Law has a long track record of providing an evidence base for policies and programmes that can help vulnerable people and communities and strengthen institutions. The Department of Public Law tackles issues as diverse as gender-based violence, securing South Arica’s freshwater sources, refugee rights and customary law.

The Democratic Governance and Rights Unit (DGRU) focuses on supporting judicial governance and providing free access to legal resources in Africa. Its work includes the publication of guidelines for safeguarding the independence and integrity of the judiciary in southern Africa.

Also in the Faculty of Law is the Centre of Criminology, which engages with a range of partners, including civil society, local government, state institutions and the international multilateral system. Based in a city plagued by gang violence and high rates of violent crime, its research covers urban security, state and non-state security policing and organised crime and illicit markets.

The Gender Health and Justice Research Unit (GHJRU), based in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and its transdisciplinary research – often conducted with non-governmental organisations, national human rights institutions and government departments across the African continent – focuses on those who have experienced gender-based violence, displaced populations, LGBTQI persons as well as those who have lost their liberty as a result of detention.

Children are disproportionately represented among the victims of our unsafe societies. The Children’s Institute at UCT, whose work spans many SDGs, positions itself as a source of information for those who advocate on behalf of children and ensure their place in society is given primary consideration.

Strong and ethical public leadership is critical to achieving Goal 16, and UCT’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance aims to promote and inspire strategic public leadership in Africa.