Nick Shaxson ■ Human Rights Policy Brief: a Post-2015 Fiscal Revolution


Human Rights CESR CAThe New York-based Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) and Christian Aid have just published an important new paper entitled A Post-2015 Fiscal Revolution: Human Rights Policy Brief. It is a most useful contribution to the  fast-growing community of researchers and research on the crucial topic of tax justice and human rights. (In fact, the paper focuses on fiscal justice and human rights – which means tax plus spending.)

The report notes, crucially, that:

“Human rights standards, set out in a range of international treaties which governments have already voluntarily agreed to, provide a framework of binding principles which are of particular relevance to fiscal policy in the context of sustainable development. These include the obligations of states to generate and use the maximum available resources to progressively realize economic, social and cultural rights, to tackle inequality and prevent discrimination in the generation and use of resources, and to ensure transparency, accountability and meaningful participation in fiscal policy processes.

Ensuring that fiscal policy abides by these principles is a responsibility that falls to capable and accountable states as primary guarantors of human rights. It is precisely the extent to which a state enjoys robust, equitable and accountable fiscal foundations, anchored in the human rights duty to maximize all available resources, which makes or breaks its ability to realize human rights and sustainable development.”

Now read on. Note: we are co-hosting a symposium on tax justice and human rights at McGill University, Montreal on June 18-20.

Joseph Stead of Christian Aid adds:

We would also highlight that we don’t think the targets, indicators and data issues we identify in the report are the final word and so we have a living, working online mapping of fiscal justice targets, indicators, data sources and data needs. We encourage you to get involved by suggesting of other indicators and/or data sources to post2015.fiscalrevolution [at]

Note, too, the recent landmark report by the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute on tax justice and human rights, and that the United Nations has assigned a Special Rapporteur to write a major report on the issue.

Tax (or fiscal) Justice and Human Rights – it’s a big new game in town. Join the movement.

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