Friday, December 09, 2011

Africa Tax Spotlight - Taxation and Human Rights

The latest edition of Africa Tax Spotlight explores tax and human rights issues, and explains that inappropriate taxation of poor people in a context of economic cronyism and widespread human rights violations is a causal factor of growing dissent.

You can download the edition here, and we list the contents below:
  1. Editorial - "The message is clear: connecting the dots between development and human rights is fundamentally rooted in tax (as the main source of non-aid development revenue) ... Major lessons to learn? Africa – comprised of countries large and small, free, un-free and somewhere in between – has the foundation of justice embedded in the characters of our peoples, our histories, and our various instruments of representation. Without bridging the gap between democracy, human rights, development and tax – the latter, limited not simply to just legislation, but also the political will required to enforce the law, we will already have lost."
  2. A human rights approach to taxation: some brief comments - "Articulates the procedural, substantive and other shape of a rights-based approach to taxation."
  3. When ‘rights’ undermine ‘right’: Exploring the reality of South Africa’s constitutional right to water - "Unveils how the guarantee of rights does little good when resources are limited because of corporate tax exemptions and cheap state services to rich people that are all too often subsidized by the labour of the most impoverished."
  4. Transparency and rights: who benefits? - "The article on Zambia’s copper industry describes how the neoliberal understanding of ‘development’ – and the ‘accountability’ industry, such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), deployed to monitor revenue flows - enables the use of national resources for private, corrupt gain, rather than equitable national development."
  5. Human Rights and tax justice - "Explains the quality of citizenship as the means of assessing the realization of economic and social rights."
  6. News and events - Includes Civil Society Organisation (CSO) Tax Justice Training Workshop, in Zambia May 2011, and the 13th Annual Strategy Meeting of the African Initiative on Mining, Environment and Society (AIMES), in Zimbabwe June 2011
  7. Profile: The centre for research and development – Zimbabwe - "As exemplified by the Zimbabwe-based Center for Research and Development (CRD),arguably billions of dollars’ worth of diamond wealth has been misappropriated, under the guise of development via the vehicle of the ‘resource curse’ (i.e. opaque exploitation of resources).
The report is published by the Tax Justice Network-Africa, with Guest Editor Khadija Sharife and Contributing Editors TJN-A's Sandra Kidwingira and Vera Mshana.


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