The success of the SDG in the area of Peace, Justice and Strong Institution depends on achieving livable and calm communities supported by reliable and accountable institutions.
Several regions enjoy increased and sustained levels of peace and security. But many countries still face protracted armed conflict and violence, and far too many people struggle as a result of weak institutions and the lack of access to justice, information and other fundamental freedoms.
According to a new report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the vast majority of all human trafficking victims — some 71 per cent — are women and girls and one third are children.
Sexual violence is one of the most unsettling of children’s rights violations. Yet underreporting and the lack of comparable data limit understanding of the full extent of the problem. Survey data from 31 low- and middle-income countries suggest that the proportion of women aged between 18 and 29 who experienced sexual violence for the first time before the age of 18 varies widely, ranging from zero to 16 per cent. Comparable data on the experiences of men are only available for five countries, but values are lower than those reported among women in the same countries.
Girls who are victims of human trafficking are often subjected to sexual exploitation, forced marriage and/or domestic servitude. Underreporting and lack of comparable data remain stubborn obstacles to understanding the full extent of sexual violence against children. Survey data from 31 low- and middle-income countries suggest that the proportion of women aged 18 to 29 years who experienced sexual violence for the first time before age 18 may be as high as 16 per cent.
The report found that while women and girls tend to be trafficked for marriages and sexual slavery, men and boys are typically exploited for forced labour in the mining sector, as porters, soldiers and slaves. While 28 per cent of detected trafficking victims worldwide are children, in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central America and the Caribbean children comprise 62 and 64 per cent of victims, respectively.
While 158 countries have criminalized human trafficking — a huge improvement over the past 13 years — Mr. Fedotov nonetheless warned that “the rate of convictions remains far too low, and victims are not always receiving the protection and services countries are obliged to provide.
Without peace, stability, human rights and effective governance, based on the rule of law — we cannot hope for sustainable development. We are living in a world that is increasingly divided. Some regions enjoy sustained levels of peace, security and prosperity, while others fall into seemingly endless cycles of conflict and violence. This is by no means inevitable and must be addressed.