Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
This overview addresses sport’s role and potential in relation to the sixteenth Sustainable Development Goal. It outlines the contribution of sport to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. The overview aims at informing, inspiring, encouraging and supporting sport’s contributions to the SDGs by football clubs, foundations, community trusts, football associations and leagues.
- Sport can help to rebuild post-conflict societies and uplift affected communities and individuals by fostering the respect, protection and implementation of human rights. Sport can amplify important human rights messages, such as the value of inclusion, respect for diversity and non-discrimination
- Sport provides a powerful communication platform that can be used to disseminate solidarity and reconciliation messages and to promote a culture of peace. Sport events can provide opportunities for advocating and realising peace, as notably the Olympic Truce has allowed since ancient history.
- Sport and sport events can promote national unity and identity in a peaceful way, respecting others.
- Role models in sport can promote peace and human rights and foster dialogue and social cohesion.
- Sport activities can help to address war-related trauma and promote healing by providing safe spaces for activities that enable victims of war to regain a sense of security and normalcy.
- Sport can serve as a tool for supporting demobilisation and disarmament efforts as well as supporting the reintegration of ex-combatants, particularly former child soldiers, into their communities.
- Sport can support the rapprochement and integration of divided communities and cultures through friendly games. The universal popularity of sport offers an important means of engaging communities that are hard to reach and socially excluded groups, for example via sport programmes for refugees or indigenous peoples.
- Sport provides a useful vehicle to train a number of important social and life skills and to address important risk factors for crime and violence, especially amongst youth. For instance, sport can raise awareness and be a platform to share information on sexual and gender-based violence, including in conflict situations. Ending abuse, violence and exploitation in sport can significantly contribute to achieving peaceful societies.
- Respect, equality and fair-play, some of the core values in sport are also fundamental principles for peaceful and inclusive societies, thus sport programmes that emphasize these values can contribute to the realisation of such societies.
- Upholding sport ideals such as respect for the opponent and the rules of the game and maintaining dignity in victory as well as defeat, can foster democratic processes and institutions. Reforming sport institutions can help to ensure that they are effective, accountable and inclusive by basing their policies and actions on human rights including principles of justice and good governance, and to promote a culture of ethics, integrity, and lawfulness.
- The promotion and maintenance of clean sport is fundamental to underpin fairness in society.
Click on one of the icons below to learn more about each goal and how sport can contribute to achieving that goal.