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At the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development lies a vision of a “just, equitable, tolerant, open and socially inclusive world in which the needs of the most vulnerable are met.”
Justice is a thread that runs through all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Without increased justice, the world will not be able to end poverty, reduce inequality, reach the furthest behind first, create conditions for shared and sustainable prosperity, or promote peace and inclusion.
SDG16.3 promises to ensure equal access to justice for all by 2030. Other targets cover legal identity, injustices such as corruption and illicit financial flows, and the promotion of rights and gender equality.
The Task Force on Justice – an initiative of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies – has explored the delivery of these targets in a world where billions of people are not yet able to obtain justice.
Drawing on research by the world’s leading justice organizations and experts, this report provides a first estimate of the global justice gap. It makes the case for shifting from a model that provides justice only for the few, to one that delivers measurable improvements in justice for all.
In the past, justice reforms have often focused on institutions that are distant from people and fail to serve their needs. The Task Force proposes a different approach, putting people at the center of justice systems and justice at the heart of sustainable development.
A people-centered approach to justice starts with an understanding of people’s justice needs and designs solutions to respond to them. It is delivered by a justice system that is open and inclusive, and that works in collaboration with other sectors such as health, education, housing, and employment.
Closing the justice gap requires a transformation in ambition – a sustained effort to provide billions more people with access to justice.
To deliver justice for all, countries must resolve people’s justice problems, prevent injustices large and small from occurring, and create opportunities for people to participate fully in their societies and economies.
About the Pathfinders Task Force on Justice: An initiative of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, The Task Force on Justice is chaired by ministers from Argentina, the Netherlands, and Sierra Leone and by the Elders. It brings together a distinguished group of justice leaders and experts. Vivek Maru, Namati’s CEO, is a member of the Task Force.