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Article

18 Apr 2016

Author:
UN News Centre

Tax evasion by companies shrinks fiscal space for investing in public goods & services, says UN expert

"After ‘Panama Papers’ leak, UN expert calls for end of financial secrecy to halt illicit fund flows", 8 Apr 2016

In the wake of last week’s leak of a trove of confidential financial documents from a Panama law firm, a United Nations human rights expert called on the international community to urgently put an end to financial secrecy.

“Tax evasion and the flow of funds of illicit origin undermine justice and deprive Governments of resources needed for the realization of economic, social and cultural rights,” UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, warned, as the documents, which have been dubbed the ‘Panama Papers,’ have shown how corporations, wealthy individuals and politically exposed persons have systematically hidden assets in more than 21 offshore jurisdictions…

“Tax evasion destroys trust in public institutions and the rule of law, and shrinks the fiscal space for investing in public health care, education, social security and other public goods and services,” the expert explained. “Public funds that are essential to guarantee economic, social and cultural rights to all are robbed from the people,” he added.

The UN human rights office noted that the leaked documentation shows that many banks and financial intermediaries have failed to exercise due diligence with their clients…

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