Experts on tax and human rights met last month at a two-day Center for Human Rights and Global Justice conference on taxation and its effect on underprivileged populations. “Human Rights and Tax in an Unequal World,” held on September 22 and 23, featured discussions on topics such as tax abuse, inequality, and tax reform.

A central idea of the discussions was that tax abuse is no less than a human rights violation, especially in underdeveloped countries. “The wealthy companies and individuals that are sidestepping their duty to pay tax are human rights abusers,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, in her keynote address. “Every school that’s not built, every medicine that’s not bought for lack of government funds due to tax dodging is an abuse of human rights.”

Among the speakers were NYU Law faculty members Mitchell Kane, Daniel Shaviro, and Joshua Blank LLM ’07, as well as alumnae Celine Braumann LLM ’16, Monica Iyer ’10, and Erika Siu LLM ’10. Other speakers represented the University of Nairobi and the University of South Africa, among other schools and organizations.

The panelists combined their unique expertise to tackle complex issues including regulating taxes, tax havens and tax avoidance, and redistributing wealth through taxation, with advancing human rights as the shared goal.

Watch the keynote from the conference (1 hr, 18 min):

Posted October 21, 2016