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Corporate tax avoidance “inconsistent” with human rights, says UN treaty body

Author: Center for Economic and Social Rights, Published on: 29 June 2017

"Tax competition and corporate tax avoidance “inconsistent” with human rights, says UN treaty body", 28 Jun 2017

Last week...[the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights] made its most definitive statement yet that corporate tax dodging – and the policies which encourage it – are incompatible with governments’ legal duties to guard against business-related human rights abuses, even when committed beyond their borders. This landmark development represents the latest signal that human rights protection bodies are increasingly poised to hold governments and companies to account for tax injustice.

...Combatting corporate tax abuse—which robs government coffers of billions every year—remains an under-explored yet crucial aspect of ensuring businesses respect human rights, as CESR [Center for Economic and Social Rights] has argued in various human rights and development fora. 

...[T]ax dodging via Switzerland by multinational copper firms operating in Zambia may amount to as much as $326 million annually, equivalent to about 60 percent of the country’s health budget...

This [General Comment] gives human rights and tax justice advocates more concrete standards to which countries and companies can be held accountable for the human rights consequences of their tax behavior.

Read the full post here