SDG16: Accelerating Progress to Achieve Justice for Children

This event highlights the multilateral leadership and national action achieving SDG16 for children, demonstrating governments’ and civil society’s growing delivery of child-friendly justice and children’s rights. This is a key focus in a year where is accelerating justice is core to the successes of the world’s multilateral partnerships, including the successes of intergenerational partnerships for current and future generations.


With children and youth under 18 making up one-third of the global population, they play a crucial role across the world today, and in shaping the future.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize the essential contribution of young people in advancing progress, both as stewards of tomorrow and agents of change today. Failing to prioritise children's well-being and rights undermines our collective efforts to achieve the SDGs.  But despite the sustainable development agenda's commitment to inclusivity, a significant gap remains when it comes to addressing the needs and rights of children. In order to fulfil the global ambition of leaving no one behind, we must accelerate efforts to measure, understand, and actively work towards meeting children’s rights and unmet justice needs.

The Agenda 2030 calls for bold and ambitious leadership for children’s justice to accelerate implementation of child-friendly justice systems. Recognizing this critical juncture – now into the second half of Agenda 2030 -- the Working Group on SDG16+ Justice for Children1 with its members of the Justice Action Coalition, is partnering on a path of innovation to incentivise investment of time and political priorities on child-friendly policies and initiatives. By focusing on justice for children, this collaborative effort seeks to accelerate the realisation of a just and inclusive society for all.

In anticipation and preparation for the World Congress on Justice With Children hosted in Madrid 2025, international organisations, Member States, academia, NGOs and children and young people are playing a fundamental role in setting up collaborations, innovations, and solutions to support the effective realisation of SDG 16.2 and SDG 16.3, to achieve justice for children, for all children.


Hosted at the New York offices of the Baker McKenzie Law Firm, organised by the Global Initiative on Justice With Children and the Working Group on SDG16+ Justice for Children with the Global pro bono practice of Baker McKenzie, this event is of utmost importance given the current challenges and gaps in addressing the rights and needs of children in the context of the SDGs.

 As the event aims to apply the SDGs at a national level, it provides a platform to promote innovative approaches and share best practices in ensuring child-friendly policies and initiatives. By adopting a child-centred approach and engaging children as active agents of change, the event seeks to accelerate the implementation of child-friendly justice systems.


  • Activate new strategic levers to achieve justice for children within the Agenda 2030. Progress this “new phase of accelerated progress to achieve justice for children”, acting as a high-level ‘stepping stone’ to continue raising the bar for countries’ ambitions, and grow momentum in anticipation of the World Congress 2025and well beyond.
  • Drive a strategic, collaborative approach across governments, multilateral organisations, CSOs and young people, to achieving justice for children in the Agenda 2030, fostering a collective understanding of accountability by making access to justice a matter for all
  • Shine a spotlight on national government leadership action on children’s justice issues, profiling national government learning, commitments and ambitions, including children and young people as key stakeholders.
  • Exchange promising practices across regions and contexts, such as investment in non-custodial measures to ensure children's safe reintegration into families and communities.
  • Generate a collective focus to close the evidence and data gaps in child-centred justice, to achieve a “rigorous, evidence-based understanding of children’s justice needs and of effective, scalable and sustainable solutions to meet those needs.”
Start and end date
Global Initiative on Justice With Children
Terre des hommes Foundation Lausanne
Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures
Baker McKenzie
Type of event
In-Person event
Community empowerment