Conflict, insecurity, weak institutions, and limited access to justice remain a great threat to sustainable development.
The number of people fleeing war, persecution, and conflict exceeded 70 million in 2018, the highest level recorded by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in almost 70 years.
In 2019, the United Nations tracked 357 killings and 30 enforced disappearances of human rights defenders, journalists, and trade unionists in 47 countries.
And the births of around one in four children under age 5 worldwide are never officially recorded, depriving them of proof of legal identity crucial for the protection of their rights and for access to justice and social services.
Human rights are key in shaping the pandemic response. By respecting human rights in this time of crisis, we will build more effective and inclusive solutions for the emergency of today and the recovery for tomorrow.
Human rights put people center stage. Responses that are shaped by and respect human rights result in better outcomes in beating the pandemic, ensuring healthcare for everyone, and preserving human dignity.
The UN Secretary-General urged governments to be transparent, responsive, and accountable in their COVID-19 response and ensure that any emergency measures are legal, proportionate, necessary, and non-discriminatory. “The best response is one that responds proportionately to immediate threats while protecting human rights and the rule of law,” he said.
To focus on “the true fight,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a global ceasefire, in an appeal urging warring parties across the world to lay down their weapons in support of the bigger battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Facts and Figures
- Among the institutions most affected by corruption are the judiciary and police.
- Corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion cost some US $1.26 trillion for developing countries per year; this amount of money could be used to lift those who are living on less than $1.25 a day above $1.25 for at least six years
- Birth registration has occurred for 73 percent of children under 5, but only 46 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa have had their births registered.
- Approximately 28.5 million primary school age who are out of school live in conflict-affected areas.
- The rule of law and development have a significant interrelation and are mutually reinforcing, making it essential for sustainable development at the national and international level.
- The proportion of prisoners held in detention without sentencing has remained almost constant in the last decade, at 31 percent of all prisoners.
Violence against children
- The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million in 2018, the highest level recorded by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in almost 70 years.
- In 2019, the United Nations tracked 357 killings and 30 enforced disappearances of human rights defenders, journalists and trade unionists in 47 countries.
- Violence against children affects more than 1 billion children around the world and costs societies up to US$ 7 trillion a year.
- 50 percent of the world’s children experience violence every year.
- Every 7 minutes, somewhere in the world, a child is killed by violence
- 1 in 10 children is sexually abused before the age of 18.
- 9 in 10 children live in countries where corporal punishment is not fully prohibited, leaving 732 million children without legal protection.
- 1 in 3 internet users worldwide is a child and 800 million of them use social media. Any child can become a victim of online violence.
- Child online sexual abuse reports to NCMEC has grown from 1 million in 2014 to 45 million in 2018.
- 246 million children worldwide affected by school-related violence each year.
- 1 in 3 students has been bullied by their peers at school in the last month, and at least 1 in 10 children have experienced cyberbullying.
Goal 15 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