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A Rights-Based Economy Report

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the fundamental injustice at the core of our current economic model, which results in scarcity for the many, and unimaginable wealth for the few. The economic fallout from the pandemic and the inadequacy of governments’ responses to it are prompting more and more people to question the morality of an economic system which for decades has placed the market at the centre of all human interactions, measuring progress and development solely in terms of economic growth. In this publication, the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) and Christian Aid – two international organisations working for human rights and economic justice – ask: what would it would look like if we had an economy based on human rights?

Cancel the Debt supporter toolkit

Explore how you can take part in this campaign to cancel the debt of poor countries

Use and abuse of tax breaks: how tax incentives become harmful

Taxation is essential to raise sufficient, equitable and accountable financing for development. Only through taxation can governments fund public spending on the essential services at the quality and scale necessary to realise the rights of all citizens. Yet many Southern governments decide not to tax certain corporations and companies in the hope that this will attract cross-border investment. Despite mounting evidence that the practice of offering tax incentives is both largely ineffective and detrimental to development, it is widespread. This report explains how tax incentives can become harmful, and discusses what can be done to stop their abuse.

Trapped in illicit finance

The world faces some of the most serious economic, environmental, social and political challenges it ever has. Across the world, citizens are calling for governments to implement policies to address these issues. Again, and again, governments tell them the same thing: “we don’t have the money”. At the same time, it’s a fact that governments worldwide tolerate widespread tax evasion and avoidance – and that malevolent actors routinely steal from government funds. Indeed, it is estimated that $416bn is lost every year to illicit financial flows (IFFs) – illegal or harmful movements of money or capital from one country to another. In this report, Christian Aid and our partners propose a simple solution for plugging some of this funding gap: we must stop tolerating the abusive, unethical and immoral IFFs that rob the poor to enrich the wealthy.

Hunger Strike: The climate and food vulnerability index

The Climate and Food Vulnerability Index shows how the countries most impacted by food insecurity are the least responsible for the climate change which drives it.   The top 10 most insecure countries combined generate just 0.08% of global CO2 emissions. Burundi is both the most food insecure country in the world and has the smallest carbon footprint per person.

Generando Empresas y Derechos Humanos

Las prácticas corporativas irresponsables representan graves riesgos para los derechos humanos. A menudo, tienen impactos que afectan a las personas de manera diferente debido a su género, haciendo que las desigualdades que ya experimentan sean aún mayores. En este informe, identificamos estudios de casos, destacamos temas clave sobre el impacto de género de las prácticas corporativas y exploramos su relación con el derecho internacional de los derechos humanos y los marcos relacionados. Creemos que las empresas, en particular las empresas transnacionales, deben hacer valer los derechos humanos y deben ser responsabilizadas por el derecho internacional de los derechos humanos. También creemos que el Marco de Negocios y Derechos Humanos de la ONU, sus mecanismos de implementación, y los estados y entidades comerciales a los que se aplica, deben responder mejor a los impactos negativos de las empresas en los derechos de las mujeres y los géneros marginados.

Corporate approaches to addressing modern day slavery

Download this report providing a snapshot of corporate approaches to modern day slavery based on research of 21 leading brands and retailers. From the Ethical Trading Initiative and The Ashridge Centre for Business and Sustainability at Hult International Business School.

Tackling modern day slavery - the John Lewis Partnership

Download this report from the John Lewis Partnership outlining their business and human rights strategy in response to the Modern Slavery Act. From the Salt Business Network. 

Engendering Business and Human Rights

Irresponsible corporate practices pose serious human rights risks. Often, they have impacts which affect people differently because of their gender, making the inequalities that they already experience even greater. In this report, we identify case studies, highlight key issues on the gendered impact of corporate practices, and explore their relationship with international human rights law and related frameworks. We believe that businesses, in particular transnational corporations, must bring human rights to bear and must be held to account under international human rights law. We also believe that the UN Business and Human Rights Framework, its implementation mechanisms, and the states and business entities to which it applies, must respond better to the negative impacts of business on the rights of women and marginalised genders.

World Bank & IMF briefings

Read our briefing papers ahead of the World Bank Group's 2019 Spring Meetings The Big Shift Needed for Climate Justice A Just Global Economy Leave No One Behind? From Violence to Peace

Financing Injustice

We need a radically different and rebalanced financial system which ensures that the very poorest are included and actively supported to thrive, and in which developing countries have an equal say in making the rules governing the global economy. This briefing looks at progress towards the Sustainable Development goals (SDGs), financing for development, private finance and alternatives, and good investment.  Download a Spanish version here

No Exceptions: Why HSBC's new coal policy could fuel climate change

In order to stop climate change from hurting the world’s poor, we need to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure, especially coal, from being built. Finance from banks has helped build new coal plants, when it should be going to underfunded renewable projects. This report looks at the new energy policy from HSBC. It asks why the bank has omitted Vietnam, Bangladesh and Indonesia from its ban on coal financing, when other banks like Standard Chartered have ruled out coal financing in all countries.

Questionable Values? Policy Report

Why we believe that it is time to stop defending the indefensible across all the world’s tax havens. Following the hurricanes Irma and Maria that devastated a number of Caribbean islands in September this year, the focus has rightly been on supporting the hardest hit and those in greatest need. But as the rebuilding effort develops, many are starting to think more deeply about the long-term sustainability of these islands’ economies, and their ability to protect and provide for their populations in an economically and climatically uncertain future. What type of jobs, and what type of economy, should places such as the British Virgin Islands (BVI) be looking to build? This is a question that extends beyond the storm-hit Caribbean. Defensive measures against tax evasion and avoidance are on the rise in the US, the EU and emerging economies, driven in part by the exposure of these activities in successive leaks of information (most recently, the Paradise Papers). Such developments call into question the sustainability of any economic model that relies on providing various combinations of secrecy and low taxation. So far, many small offshore centres, and their supporters, have largely reacted defensively to the threat of change, arguing that media coverage has unfairly maligned ‘tax havens’; that the problem is not as large as portrayed; and that they are already instituting tax and transparency standards better than many large ‘onshore’ economies. However, careful scrutiny of one of the most comprehensive efforts to explain the role of international finance centres and to illustrate the impact that such a territory has on the global economy – the prominent report that the government-backed financial lobby group, BVI Finance, commissioned this year from consultancy firm Capital Economics – demonstrates major weaknesses in the arguments and conclusions presented, and suggests to us that such defences are more concerned with maintaining the status quo than a genuine concern for the wider global economy. Our analysis of the Capital Economics report is an example of why we believe that it is time to stop defending the indefensible across all the world’s tax havens. With public demand building for new regulation, and the ever-present threat of further mass leaks, the UK Government needs to initiate a serious discussion about alternative economic pathways for the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. Alternative futures for offshore tax havens are not only vital for the poorest countries of the world that lose tax revenues each year to the offshore system, but also for the ordinary women and men in places like the BVI, for whom a secure future is dependent on the creation of robust, equitable and sustainable economies.

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire (Part 1)

In this policy briefing, Christian Aid examines the links between climate change and conflict, and begins to elaborate on its argument that the best form of climate security is climate justice.