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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.

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.

Delivering for women and girls: role of gender responsive budgeting

This briefing lays out our recommendations for budgeting, which champions the rights of women and girls.

Tackling violence, building peace: global strategy 2016

Violence and conflict affects almost one fifth of the world’s population or 1.5 billion people. The daily fear, uncertainty and suffering borne by people living through violent conflicts in countries such as Syria, Iraq and South Sudan is immeasurable and unimaginable. The war in Syria, has contributed to the highest number of displaced people since World War II; nearly five million having fled its bombs and bullets. Meanwhile, the catastrophe continues for people trapped in besieged villages across Syria and Iraq. Other countries like Colombia are striving to end protracted conflicts and push peace over the line. Today, one in every 122 people is now a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum, and the cost of world military spending is said to be nearly 250 times more than is spent on peace building. Christian Aid has adopted ‘Tackling Violence, Building Peace,’ as a strategic priority to address these critical trends and because we know that human development cannot be achieved without tackling violence. Seventy years after Christian Aid’s establishment, the root causes and levels of violence in poor communities where we work persists, often at higher levels and irrespective of whether those communities are ‘at war’ or not. Most of the world’s poorest people live outside of any form of protection and remain vulnerable to war and conflict, violent criminal organisations, gender-based violence, police abuse, forced labour and violent theft of land and other assets on a daily basis. People who do not have a safe place to call home, reliable access to food and an income because of violence, cannot plan for the future. Communities living through daily violence cannot thrive. And children who are forced to leave school because of violence are denied a chance at their hopes and dreams. Women and girls are also increasingly subject to physical and sexual violence, a harrowing result of gender inequality. Conflict is complex and even when peace comes, it does not always signal an end to violence. It can mark a shift from militarised conflict to widespread social conflict. For example, in Central America more people die violently today due to crime than during the civil wars of Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua combined. Our new strategy underpins our commitment to tackle violence and to promote just and lasting peace and security where we work. The strategy is deeply informed by our work in countries across the globe and reflects the aspirations and vision of our local partners. Peace is both an end in itself and a prerequisite for development. ‘Tackling Violence, Building Peace’ is our pledge to work tirelessly and collectively towards a safer future that secures justice and human rights for all.

Signposts to Copenhagen 6: integrating adaptation

One of series of short briefing papers presenting what we believe are the top issues for COP 15 in Copenhagen.  

Impuestos a hombres y mujeres: Por qué el enfoque de género es crucial para un régimen fiscal justo

Este trabajo tiene como objetivo estimular el debate y ofrecer orientación a los que intentan hacer un analisis de genero en su sistema fiscal. (Gender analysis of tax system in Spanish.)

Tax for the common good: a study of tax and morality

Christian Aid presents a theological and moral foundation for the campaign to promote tax justice. Many developing nations are seriously affected by the way in which some multinational companies manipulate their profits to allow them to pay little or no tax in the countries in which they are operating. As Esther Reed observes in her paper, this simply feels wrong to most people. These papers seek to explore what lies behind such a feeling and how it is anchored in some deep Christian instincts. They also set out to give a picture of what good, effective and just taxation might be like.We need to be a bit cautious when we speak about justice. Often we work with a simple idea of justice as ‘what is owed to someone or something’; and if that is all there is to it, there is going to be a risk of turning it into a rather thin concept, without much positive emotional content or spiritual significance. Walter Brueggemann, in his great Theology of the Old Testament, rightly insists that ‘justice’ in the Bible is about redistributing goods and power so that all may share what God has given the human race. This adds an important dimension of transformation to the picture. But it also needs a further dimension – a focus on just relationship – that is, not simply redistributed property and influence, but a positively renewed set of social interactions and mutual nurture.  Download the report to read the full analysis. 

Taxing men and women: why gender is crucial for a fair tax system (report)

This paper aims to stimulate debate and offer guidance to those attempting a gender analysis of their own tax system.

Automatic for the people

Considers the G8, G20 and OECD's decision to share information automatically to help stop tax dodging and how this might work.