What Does Equal Justice to Everyone Mean?
Jun 22, 2021|16Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
The UN recorded at least 69,053 civilian deaths in 12 of the world's deadliest armed conflicts between 2018 and 2020. The UN goal 16, "Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions", focuses on finding ways to reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere. But this is easier said than done.
Violence and conflict often happen when people, countries or institutions can't find common ground on a topic. These differences in ideologies and tensions can run deep when coming to resolutions. As citizens of the world it is our responsibility to look for a peaceful solution. It is also the government's responsibility to provide equal justice to everyone.
What Does Equal Justice to Everyone Mean?
When regarding our social status, ideological background, age, gender or nationality, we are treated the same under the law. Where everyone will be held equally accountable, even members of the government or high-ranking military personnel, if and when the law is broken.
Throughout history, this has not always been the case.
A vital part of that struggle is in the judiciary system. The Judiciary is a system of courts whose job is to interpret and apply the law. The role of the courts is to decide cases by determining the relevant facts and the relevant law that applies in each case. However, bias, corruption, and media can sway a case one way or another.
For a truly professional, independent, and impartial Judiciary, we need to reach a place governed not by politics, not by money, not by power — but by four simple words: equal justice under law.
According to the UN, among the institutions most affected by corruption are the Judiciary and the police. Why do you think this is? Open the discussion with your family or peers and discuss with adults. Do you think you can find a solution to ensure equal justice under the law?
Corruption and Bribery
One of the UN targets for goal 16 is to substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms. Corruption refers to any time a politician or high-ranking military personnel does something dishonest or illegal. Corruption can include giving or accepting bribes or inappropriate gifts, double-dealing, under-the-table transactions, manipulating elections, diverting funds, laundering money, and defrauding investors.
Bribery is when someone offers something (such as money) to a person in return for some favor, which is often something immoral or illegal. Bribery is a form of corruption.
Have you ever been offered something by a friend in return to keep quiet about something else? This is bribery, and we do not recommend you do or ask anyone to do this. According to the UN, one out of three students has been bullied by their peers at school in the last month. And at least 1 in 10 children have also experienced cyberbullying. Abolishing this kind of behavior in schools is at the core of building a sustainable and peaceful society. If we start making small changes early, we can change society's way and perceive the world.
Another thing to keep in mind when thinking about conflict resolution, peace and war is remembering the importance of human rights. Human rights are moral principles or norms for certain standards of human behavior. These norms are regularly protected by international law.
Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more designed to provide equal and fair treatment of humans around the world. Everyone is entitled to these rights without discrimination.
To learn more about human rights, check out the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) document.
By understanding and respecting human rights, we can build more effective and inclusive long-term solutions for tomorrow.
Thinking Caps On
Do you have younger siblings or cousins? Or do you ever interact with smaller kids at school? How would you explain to them what peace is? Can you make a drawing, short video or animation to explain to younger kids why we should always aim for a peaceful resolution? Keeping in mind toddlers don't understand complicated words. Keep it simple but get your message across with empathy and with clear definitions.
Lead by example; how would you show others what justice is? Think actions rather than just words. We believe that people like you, your peers, your friends and generations to come have the power to change the world. This won't happen overnight, but the more we lead by example toward an equal, peaceful and justice prevailing world, the better we become as a whole.