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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.

No more harmful traditional practices: working with faith leaders

In 2017 a consortium of members of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) undertook a study funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), entitled ‘Working effectively with faith leaders to challenge harmful traditional practices'. The United Nations has defined harmful traditional practices (HTPs) as follows: Traditional cultural practices reflect values and beliefs held by members of a community for periods often spanning generations. Every social grouping in the world has specific traditional cultural practices and beliefs, some of which are beneficial to all members, while others are harmful to a specific group, such as women. These harmful traditional practices include female genital mutilation (FGM); forced feeding of women; early marriage; the various taboos or practices which prevent women from controlling their own fertility; nutritional taboos and traditional birth practices; son preference and its implications for the status of the girl child; female infanticide; early pregnancy; and dowry price. Despite their harmful nature and their violation of international human rights laws, such practices persist because they are not questioned and take on an aura of morality in the eyes of those practicing them. Faith leaders are men and women recognised by their faith community, both formally or informally, as playing authoritative and influential leadership roles within faith institutions to guide, inspire or lead others (of faith). This may be within a formal religious hierarchy of accountability, but also includes informal movements. This report serves as a synthesis of the study findings.

Working effectively with faith leaders - harmful traditional practices

In 2016, the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department for International Development released a call for proposals for a study entitled “Working effectively with faith leaders to challenge harmful traditional practices.” A Consortium of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities, an international alliance examining the contribution of faith groups to community health and wellbeing, undertook this study to investigate best practices around engaging with faith leaders on harmful traditional practices (HTPs). This study is currently on-going and will continue until 2018.

Faith leaders and family planning report

A report into the major barriers and opportunities for faith leaders engaging with their communities on family planning.

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.

Pour la justice de genre: Un résumé de la stratégie de Christian Aid sur l’égalité des genres

Un résumé de la stratégie de Christian Aid sur l’égalité des genres. (French language version of our gender strategy)

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.

Of the Same Flesh: exploring a theology of gender

This report provides a theological underpinning for Christian Aid’s gender justice work.