Instructional Strategies,  Sustainability

SDG 16 Peace and Justice, Strong Institutions – Embedding the Sustainable Development Goals in Learning

This blog post is part of a series around the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each post will dive into one of the goals and how we as educators can strive to embed these into our own courses. It is in the author’s opinion that any course or class can connect with one of the 17 goals or 169 sub-targets. By providing this blog post series, we hope to elicit some ideas of how you might also integrate a global goal into your teaching. Please refer to the USask SDG Teaching & Learning Workbook, review the USask Sustainability in the Curricula website, or scroll down for more information about the SDGs.

SDG #16 aims to promote peace, justice and the institutions that support and protect the rights of citizens which are the foundations of sustainable development. People need to be free of fear from violence and feel safe wherever they go, regardless of their ethnicity, faith or sexual orientation. Crime and violence threaten peaceful societies, and even in the world’s greatest democracies, corruption, crime and human rights violations still occur. This goal is all about ensuring our communities, governments and institutions protect and promote inclusion and respect toward people of all backgrounds.

You might also be able to align your teaching to this SDG if you want your students to be able to:

  • Interpret concepts of justice, inclusion and peace and their relation to law, both in their country and internationally.
  • Discuss the importance of individuals and groups upholding justice, inclusion and peace in their country and internationally.
  • Design processes which bring peace and  justice to institutions in their country.
  • Reflect on their role in issues of peace, and show solidarity for those suffering from injustice in their own country and abroad.
  • Critique issues of peace, justice, inclusion and strong institutions in their region, nationally, and globally.

You might consider having your students reflect, share, act in some of these ways:

  • Support local organizations which align with your learning goals. Find out what social justice struggles are important to students and your community and find ways to support organizations doing this kind of work. Have students give time, talent and resources to help make a difference for people who have faced exploitation, violence, and discrimination.
  • Explore the YMCA’s Peace Building Activity Guide. It includes activities for children, youth and adults.
  • Connect with St. Thomas More College Centre, a USask federated college, for more about outreach in Catholic studies, Critical Perspectives on Social Justice and the Common Good, and Peace Studies at the Centre for Faith, Reason, Peace, and Justice.

Some curricular connections and questions for students might be:


Why is it important to be critical of media in relation to reporting conflict?

Oppression and genocide

How do genocides begin and what can be done at different levels to intervene?


How do peace and justice impact our environment?

Gender politics

How are justice systems impacting gender inequalities?


Poverty, wealth and power

How does extreme wealth and corruption contribute to the poverty cycle?

Social justice and human rights

What is the process of reporting a human rights abuse?


How are they dealt with?

Indigenous Peoples

What is unique about Indigenous justice systems and what can Canada or other colonial systems learn from them?

Health and biotechnology

How does peace impact our health?


Peace and conflict

How has the idea of world peace changed over time? How are genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity prosecuted?


The 17 Sustainable Development Goals — also known as the SDGs or the Global Goals —came into effect on January 1, 2016 following an historic United Nations Summit in September 2015. 193 governments from around the world agreed to implement the Goals within their own countries in order to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the next fifteen years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

These new, interconnected goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, while also identifying new priority areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among others.

Although each country faces specific challenges in pursuit of sustainable development, special attention is given to the most vulnerable countries, in particular, African countries, less developed countries, landlocked countries and small island developing states. There are also serious challenges within many middle-income countries.

For each of the 17 goals, there is a list of specific targets we aim to reach. The targets discussed in this guide have been summarized for ease of reading. For a more detailed list of all the 169 targets, visit

This content has been adapted from the original by the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning and the University of Saskatchewan from the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation. Users are free to download, copy, print and share this resource as needed, and adapt for their classroom or non-commercial use.

If you adapt or build on this work, please let MCIC or USask know!  

Sustainable Foundations: A Guide for Teaching the Sustainable Development Goals by the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.  To view a copy of this license, visit   

Original document


Comments Off on SDG 16 Peace and Justice, Strong Institutions – Embedding the Sustainable Development Goals in Learning