SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 16: Boundaries and Immigration Laws


Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Understanding that not every country has the opportunity to provide its citizen’s with a safe environment can be challenging. Probably because this level of empathy would require traveling and first-hand experience. The target goal for SDG 16 is to promote peaceful and inclusive societies. The target of this goal will be reviewed in 2019. Currently, it may seem a little ironic to focus on this goal considering the doom and gloom occurring in the world. According to the United Nations SDG Report in 2016, the intentional homicide rate is twice as much in developing countries than it is in developed countries.

The irony I mentioned earlier is due to recent happenings; from Rohingya Muslim abuse to North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, the world is currently undergoing many, many unfortunate incidents. It gives a little hope that this SDG exists, however, at the current rate where leaders may be unable to stop a nuclear war from erupting, this goal may seem pointless.

Human Trafficking has increased from 13% in 2004, according to United Nations SDG Report in 2016. Furthermore, this issue may seem prevalent only in developing nations, unfortunately that is not the case. Only recently, a couple in Calgary was charged with human trafficking offence. However, it is possible that these cases are more likely to surface in countries where laws are strict and action against crime can be taken.

Bringing the focus to the difference in progress of SDG 16 in developing and developed countries, I believe that to an extent it may be more plausible to achieve this goal by 2040 in countries where the system is not corrupt and where the government influence is strong. Therefore, the countries that are safer than others at a certain given time should be open to inviting citizens of other countries enter their territories after being deemed eligible by the host country. This, in my opinion, is one way to ensure the progress and achievement of SDG 16. Furthermore, countries should strive to make their immigration and refugee laws fair and accessible to all regardless of one’s race, class, gender, etc.

Furthermore, policies should be implemented to ensure the safety of the citizens of each country to ensure the influx of people is benefitting the economy as well. The screening processes for immigration can be based on previous criminal record but never on financial stability as has been done in the past. It was noted that most Syrian refugees who were welcomed into Canada during the Palestinian Syrian crisis were families who had been better off financially and were able to invest in Canada. In my opinion, being able to give every one fair and equal access to being able to apply to other “safer” countries will help us achieve SDG Goal 16.

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