Empowering Human Rights Accountability for Fiscal Policies

Universally-shared human rights principles should not be seen as merely passive victims of a global economy rigged in favor of the wealthy and well-connected. Human rights standards, in fact, offer a powerful, universal and comprehensive normative framework in which to ground claims for tax and fiscal justice. The duty to devote the maximum available resources to economic, social and cultural rights, for example, gives legal force to demands for effective and equitable taxation systems, while the international standards of equality and non-discrimination can uphold equity. Framing tax as a human rights issue takes it beyond the elite technocratic sphere and into the arena of legitimate public scrutiny and debate.

CESR works with partners worldwide to widen the space for democratic accountability over unjust fiscal policies by leveraging human rights discourse, norms and redress bodies. From national constitutional courts to regional human rights commissions to international oversight bodies, CESR connects the dots to creatively leverage existing international, regional and domestic accountability bodies to amplify our call for human rights in fiscal policy making.

In particular, we are developing with partners and experts in Latin America an authoritative set of principles and guidelines to apply international and regional human rights obligations to fiscal policy. We also continue to collaborate closely with UN human rights protection bodiesand engage in targeted interventions to effectively adapt human rights norms to the sometimes complex arena of tax and fiscal policy.