SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Why it matters
SDG 16 calls for the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provision of access to justice for all and the building of effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Progress on SDG 16 has been impeded by the persistence of ongoing and emerging violent conflicts around the world. As of May 2022, a quarter of humanity lived in areas of confict, resulting in the displacement of over 100 million people. This figure is more than double what it was a decade ago. 
The industry’s contribution
Mobile technology contributes to SDG 16 by facilitating access to information and the right to free expression. Additionally, digital identity leverages mobile as a trusted and robust solution for the underserved. Together, these lead to greater social and economic inclusion and make individuals more visible to their governments, helping them to benefit from social cash transfer programmes and other government benefits.
Governments, especially in countries with low ID penetration, are making reforms and investments in their identity infrastructure a priority, including birth registration. There are ID systems using digital technologies in 161 countries. As of early 2021, 13% of countries that had implemented SIM registration allowed mobile network providers to verify customers’ identification credentials against an approved government database or credential to facilitate validation.
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Maximising mobile’s impact by 2030
Lowering ID barriers to register SIM card users, especially for vulnerable populations, is crucial to maximising mobile’s contribution to SDG 16. More generally, taking steps to reduce the barriers to mobile phone ownership (e.g. the cost of a handsets) will help more vulnerable people access the benefits of mobile.