Making the Links Between Transitional Justice and SDG16+

Senior Expert, Research


From a transitional justice standpoint, the 2019 UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development is important is because it is the first time that Sustainable Development Goal 16 will be among the SDGs that will be up for review. Unlike their predecessors, the Millennium Development Goals, the SDGs explicitly include issues of peace and justice — particularly within SDG 16, which includes targets having to do with rule of law, access to justice, inclusive institutions, the reduction of violence, and the reduction of corruption. Other SDGs important to transitional justice include those on gender and inequality. And while the SDGs do not discuss human rights violations or transitional justice, they do offer a common framework of objectives that transitional justice shares. 

The Task Force on Justice, a group that was formed in 2018 as part of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies initiative in the lead up to HLPF, is gathering inputs in order to encourage greater provision of justice to people and communities outside the protection of the law. It is preparing a report aimed at policymakers and UN member states in advance the highly anticipated political forum in 2019. As the Task Force has pointed out, the “justice gap” that it seeks to reduce is greatest in conflict-affected countries, where only 3 percent of development assistance goes to justice. In addition, the justice gap can be of a different nature in countries that have experienced violent conflict and repression.

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PHOTO: ICTJ's Roger Duthie (center) facilitates a workshop at The Big Think on Justice in The Hague. (Courtesy of The Knowledge Platform Security and Rule of Law)