International Bar Association Forms Task Force Investigating Human Rights Implications of Illicit Financial Flows
April 4th, 2012
April 4th, 2012
GFI Advisory Board Member to Chair Group of Experts
WASHINGTON, DC – The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Initiative (IBAHRI) today announced the formation of a international task force charged with investigating the linkages between illicit financial flows, poverty and human rights violations. Chaired by Global Financial Integrity Advisory Board member and Yale University Professor Thomas Pogge, the task force consists of prominent academics, tax experts, and lawyers from around the world.
In 2010, Prof. Pogge helped organize the New Haven Declaration on Human Rights and Financial Integrity, a statement from 20 international human rights and development organizations highlighting the human rights implications of illicit financial flows. Shortly thereafter, the IBAHRI Council adopted a resolution on poverty and human rights recognizing “severe, endemic and chronic poverty as a violation of human rights.”
Scroll down for the full press release from the IBAHRI with more details on the newly-formed task force.
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April 4, 2012
LONDON (IBAHRI) – An international task force comprised of leading academics, tax experts, and lawyers has been convened to analyse how illicit financial flows – specifically the proceeds of tax abuse – contribute to poverty and subsequently affect the enforcement of economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR) across the globe.
The International Bar Association’s Human Rights InstituteTask Force on Illicit Flows, Poverty and Human Rights (IBAHRI Task Force) recently held its inaugural plenary meeting in the City of London to discuss the scope of the project, potential outcomes, and research priorities. The three key objectives of the IBAHRI Task Force are as identified as:
While substantive links have been established between human rights and poverty, and between poverty and tax evasion, comparatively little time has been spent considering tax evasion and tax avoidance as a human rights concern.
Chaired by Professor Thomas Pogge, Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs at Yale University in the United States, the IBAHRI Task Force will explore the relationship between these themes, including a pointed examination of the mining and resources industries in developing countries.
Professor Pogge commented, ‘Severe poverty is avoidable, yet persists at an astonishing level. Roughly one billion human beings are chronically undernourished, and 2.5 billion subsist on less each day than what could be bought for $2.50 in the US in 2005, according to figures of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Bank, respectively.’ He added, ‘The poorer half of humankind has less than three per cent of global household income. Complementing explorations of how aid can be better focused and made more effective, our task force will consider reforms that would enhance access by the poor to a larger share of their country’s wealth which is often unjustly appropriated by local elites or foreign firms or banks.’
The members of the IBAHRI Task Force are:
The project follows the adoption of a resolution on poverty and human rights by the IBAHRI Council in May 2010 which posited severe, endemic and chronic poverty as a violation of human rights.
Sternford Moyo, Co-Chair IBAHRI said, ‘Few will require persuasion to appreciate that poverty limits, and sometimes even eliminates, access to fundamental rights. Furthermore, the negative impact of poverty on the quality of life seriously undermines enjoyment of the right to life. Accordingly, those responsible for national poverty, whether through tax evasion or other forms of illicit financial flows, should be viewed as being partly responsible for the violations of fundamental human rights which often accompany poverty.’
The IBAHRI Task Force was launched on 30 March 2012 at the offices of the International Bar Association.
For further information please contact:
Romana St. Matthew – Daniel
International Bar Association
4th Floor, 10 St Bride Street,
London EC4 4AD
Mobile: +44 (0)7940 731 915
Direct Line: +44 (0)20 7842 0094
Main Office: +44 (0)20 7842 0090
Fax:+44 (0)20 7842 0091
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