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Human Rights Watch believes it is important for UN experts to ground their work on IFIs in the human rights obligations of these institutions. With the exception of the European banks, IFIs often argue that they are bound only by their own internal standards, rather than international human rights standards. In our view it is essential to counter this.

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Illicit financial flows (IFFs) from developing and emerging economies kept pace at nearly US$1 trillion in 2014, according to a study released today by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington, DC-based research and advisory organization. The report pegs illicit financial outflows at 4.2-6.6 percent of developing country total trade in 2014, the last year for which comprehensive data are available.

Titled “Illicit Financial Flows to and from Developing Countries: 2005-2014,” the report is the first global study at GFI to equally emphasize illicit outflows and inflows. Each is found to have remained persistently high over the period between 2005 and 2014. Combined, these outflows and inflows are estimated to account for between 14.1 and 24.0 percent of developing country trade, on average.

One of the 11 areas that the World Bank's Doing Business (DB) report includes in ranking a country's business environment is paying taxes. The background study for DB 2017, Paying Taxes 2016 claims that its emphasis is "on efficient tax compliance and straightforward tax regimes".

Its ostensible aim is to aid developing countries in enhancing the administrative capacities of tax authorities as well as reducing informal economic activities and corruption, while promoting growth and investment. All well and good, until we get into the details.

The achievements of generations of working people, celebrated on May Day, are under continuous and systematic
attack, as powerful multinational corporations and a handful of immensely wealthy people are writing the rules
of the global economy. Governments are in retreat, pandering to the ultra-rich and failing in their duty to ensure
decent work for all and an end to poverty. Nationalism and xenophobia are eroding solidarity, at a time when the
world is confronted with the biggest refugee crisis in 70 years and as migrant workers are deprived of the dignity
of equal treatment.

Tens of millions of women and men are trapped in modern slavery, and many more make up the hidden workforce
of global supply chains, denied the right to a union or to a living minimum wage and often trapped in dangerous and
degrading work. 40% of the world’s workforce is caught in the informal economy, with no rights and living hand￾to-mouth.

The term “tax haven” typically conjures up images of exotic islands scattered around the globe. But new research suggests that if governments want to recover some of the revenue that disappears into such places, they don’t need to play an international shell game. Rather, they can focus on a handful of well-developed countries, including the U.K., the Netherlands and Switzerland.


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