The State of Tax Justice 2021

16 November 2021

The State of Tax Justice 2021

Vaccine access and taxing rights

Event description

The State of Tax Justice 2021, launched on 16 November, will report on the catastrophic impact of tax abuse on vaccine equity. You can watch the launch here, in three parts:

The devastating impact of the pandemic on life, well-being and livelihoods is unevenly borne and inequitably addressed. Our societies are organised in such a way that women and girls, in particular, and the most marginalised in general will be deeply impacted by vaccine inequity. Progress towards substantive equality and the elimination of discrimination will be obstructed and the loss of rights compounded. The tragedy of many millions dying and hundreds of millions infected is, and will continue to be, felt most keenly in lower income countries, and in the poorest communities where vaccination rates remain very low. Their ability to manufacture their own vaccines has been hamstrung by the shameful application of World Trade Organisation patenting rules, and big pharma’s failure to share technical knowledge on vaccine manufacture.

Multinational companies are responsible for around a third of global economic output, half of world exports and towards a quarter of global employment. Their tax abuse is a first-order global economic issue, depriving governments of tax revenues, increasing inequalities between and within countries, and undermining smaller and domestic businesses that generate the majority of employment.

As the Pandora Papers leaks have once again confirmed, financial secrecy remains a defining feature of the global economy – and poisons our political systems too. Financial secrecy doesn’t just enable individuals to abuse their tax responsibilities and launder money – it keeps drug cartels bankable, human trafficking profitable and terrorist financing feasible.

We invite you to join us on Tuesday 16 November for the launch of the annual report on the economic and social cost of international tax abuse. Convened in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Tax Justice and Public Services International the webinar will discuss the research, share findings, and consider the impact on inequalities and human rights, and explore the national and international policy recommendations to support a just and lasting recovery.


Attiya Waris

UN Independent Expert on foreign debt, other international financial obligations, and human rights


Attiya Waris was appointed the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt, other international financial obligations, and human rights by the Human Rights Council at its 47th session, and took up the function on 1 August 2021.

She is the only Professor of Fiscal Law and Policy in Eastern and Central Africa. She is the first female Director of Research and Enterprise at the University of Nairobi. She holds a PhD in Law and is a specialist in Fiscal Law, Policy and Development. She is an advocate, company secretary and arbitrator of over 20 years standing and was the founding Chair, Fiscal Studies Committee from 2017-2020. She spearheaded the first agreement on sharing of data between a University and a revenue agency globally in 2016.  She is an Observer to the UN Tax Committee.

Dereje Alemayehu

Executive Coordinator, Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ)


Prior to his current work at GATJ, Dereje has served as the founding chair of TJNA (2008-2016) and GATJ (2014-18), as well as Senior Economic Justice Advisor at Christian Aid. Prior to that he was Christian Aid’s Country Manager for East Africa for 15 years. Before joining the CSO sector, he worked as a Lecturer at the Free University Berlin from 1987-98. He holds an MA in Development Studies and PhD in Economics from the same university.

Alex Cobham

Chief Executive, Tax Justice Network


Alex Cobham is an economist and chief executive of the Tax Justice Network. He is also a founding member of the steering group of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, and of the technical advisory group for the Fair Tax Mark. His work focuses on illicit financial flows, effective taxation for development, and inequality. He has been a researcher at Oxford University, Christian Aid, Save the Children, and the Center for Global Development, and has consulted widely, including for UNCTAD, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, DFID, and the World Bank. Recent publications include The Uncounted (Polity Press, 2019); and Estimating Illicit Financial Flows (OUP, 2020, with Petr Janský).

Rosa Pavanelli

General Secretary, Public Services International


Rosa Pavanelli is General Secretary of the global union federation Public Services International. She was elected at PSI’s World Congress in November 2012 and was re-elected for a second mandate in November 2017.

Pooja Rangaprasad

Director, Policy and Advocacy, Financing for Development (FfD), Society for International Development (SID)

Ms. Pooja Rangaprasad is the Director, Policy and Advocacy, Financing for Development at the Society for International Development where she leads and facilitates policy dialogue and advocacy efforts of the Civil Society FfD Group towards UN Member States. Ms. Rangaprasad previously worked as Policy Coordinator at Financial Transparency Coalition and at the Delhi-based think tank Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability. She holds an MSc in Social Policy and Development from London School of Economics.

Liz Nelson

Director, Tax Justice & Human Rights, Tax Justice Network


Liz Nelson is Director of Tax Justice and Human Rights. Before joining the Tax Justice Network, Liz worked as Development Manager at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship in the University of Oxford’s Said Business School. Previously she managed and developed housing services for vulnerable and ‘at risk’ adults and families for twenty years. Liz studied Human Rights and Development Management from the Open University’s Global Programme in Development Management and Women’s Human Rights at the London School of Economics (LSE).

Miroslav Palanský

Data Scientist, Tax Justice Network


Miroslav Palanský is a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Economic Studies, Charles University, Prague, and a data scientist at the Tax Justice Network. Through his research, he aims to help in the ongoing fight against corruption, tax abuse and financial secrecy. He holds a Master’s and a Ph.D. in Economics from Charles University and a Master’s in Econometrics from Aix-Marseille University,

Baba Aye

Health & Social Services Officer, Public Services International


Baba Aye is the PSI Health and Social Sector Officer. He has an International Masters in Labour Policies & Globalisation. An activist of over three decades, he fights for a better world where development brightens the lives of the many and not just the 1%.

Baba has published book chapters, working papers and journal articles on: health and social care, industrial relations, development economics, migration, workers’ education, identity politics, women’s liberation, precarity and globalisation. He is also the author of Era of Crises & Revolts: Perspectives for Workers and Youth.

Antonis Schwarz

Activist, philanthropist and founder of Guerrilla Foundation

Antonis Schwarz is an activist, philanthropist and impact investor of Greek-German descent and driven by the ideas laid out in the Guerrilla Foundation’s mission. He has used his inherited wealth to support a variety of social causes since 2011. In 2013, Antonis co-founded Vouliwatch, a Greek parliamentary monitoring organization that aims to increase political accountability. You can find out more about his work on the Good Move Initiatives website.

Jeannie Manipon

Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD)

Rodolfo Bejarano

Economist, Latindadd

Suggested material

Event partners