Inequality and essential services blog channel

Time to end the era of tax havens now.

One year ago, the #SwissLeaks scandal made headlines around the globe. Putting a stop to the seemingly endless stream of corporate tax scandals is possible but it will require more fundamental reforms than are on the table at the moment; and a rebalancing of power in global tax negotiations. The creation of a new global tax body that includes all governments on an equal footing would go a long way to redressing this balance and delivering deeper reforms that are so desperately needed for the benefit of all.

Barbara Chinyeu (36), a widow in Zambia. Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Oxfam

Oxfam and Tax Justice Network are today launching an essay competition on tax justice and human rights. The competition invites practitioners and students from around the world to explore ways in which governments of developing countries and/or civil society in any country can use existing laws to protect human rights in the face of tax injustice.

Villagers near Ka Chok, Cambodia are concerned about a mining concession granted to a Vietnamese company. Local farmers were not consulted about the concession and worry that they lose access to farm lands. Credit: Patrick Brown/Oxfam

For oil, gas, and mining companies, gaining access to land and water can make or break a project. For many communities their land is their lifeline, and this can be lost when they don’t have a say and their rights are ignored. Today, Oxfam launched a new report reviewing the public policy commitments of 38 oil, gas, and mining companies around issues of community engagement and rights, with a particular focus on free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC).

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