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The human rights implications of tax and fiscal policy

A literacy class in Sierra Leone 

In February 2015 Christian Aid hosted a high level international conference on the subject of the human rights impact of tax and fiscal policy.

The event brought together participants from the world of business, human rights, academia and tax justice and social justice activists. The keynote speaker was Professor Philip Alston, UN Special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

Weeklong coffee break  Our intention was to challenge people to view tax not only as a technical matter, the exclusive domain of lawyers and accountants, but as a human rights issue. Tax after all is what generates the revenue we require to provide schools hospitals and roads, it helps redistribute income and tackle inequality, and can incentivise or disincentives desirable or undesirable behaviour. 

With the recent ruling from the European Commission on Apple, the findings and recommendations from the conference have never been more relevant.


The report of the event has been updated with new recommendations, encouraging greater accountability and transparency as well as advocating a human rights approach to Irish tax policy.  Please feel free to contact us if you would like to comment on the report’s contents. 




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