Taxing Rights and Human Rights in East Africa – new report

   0   0 Africa, Blog, Human Rights, Tax Collection

xThe East Africa Tax and Governance Network (EATGN) has today launched its first report on taxation and human rights in East Africa. The study entitled ‘Taxation and Human Rights: taxing rights policies are human rights policies,’ is borne of a series of collaboration with the Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHRC) with whom EATGN began a conversation about the link between tax and human rights.

The initial discussions in 2014 brought together members of county assemblies (MCAs), deputy governors and the civil society in Kenya. This conversation was then extended to the rest of the East African region given that the deliberations touched on the nature of tax collection and allocation of the same to key sectors. This was contextualized around adequate resourcing of essential services by states in respect to the social contract and in a bid to meet human rights obligations. The conference drew the conclusion that there was a need to elaborate through research the linkages between taxation and human rights, looking specifically at social, economic and cultural rights.

This discourse has never been more pertinent than in the wake of the Panama Leaks that demonstrated the elaborate global financial architecture that undermines domestic resource mobilization capabilities of states. Philip Alston the special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, argues that tax makes resources available whereas tax policy demonstrates tangible action towards priority setting.

This report seeks therefore to draw this nexus between taxation and human rights by establishing trends of budgetary allocation towards economic, social and cultural rights against losses from revenue from tax incentives, drawing from experiences in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Please find the report here.

About The Author

John Christensen

Trained as a forensic auditor and economist, he has worked in many countries around the world, including a period of working in offshore financial services with Touche Ross & Co. For 11 years he was economic adviser to the government of the British Channel Island of Jersey. In 2003 he became what the Guardian has described as “the unlikely figurehead of a worldwide campaign against tax avoidance.” His research on offshore finance has been widely published in books and academic journals, and John has taken part in many films, television documentaries and radio programmes.
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