"$1 trillion" lost to tax dodges and crime affecting human rights

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UN Human Rights Council, Geneva. Photo/Pierre Albouy

Tax dodges, corruption and crime on a huge scale continue to block people's basic human rights, particularly in developing countries, a top UN investigator said Monday.

Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, told the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva that developing countries lost an estimated $991 billion from so-called illegal financial outflows in 2012

Daniel Johnson has more.

Worth nearly $1 trillion globally, the loss of this kind of income would be hard to bear for rich countries, whereas in fact it's the poorest nations that have to foot the bill.

That's the message from human rights investigator Juan Pablo Boholavsky, who addressed the UN Human Rights Council on Monday.

His probe into illegal financial outflows — lost revenue from tax evasion, but also drug and human trafficking — found that they increased at more than nine per cent per year from 2003 to 2012.

"Illicit financial flows generated from crime, corruption or tax evasion represent a major drain on the resources of developing countries reducing tax revenues, development and the rule of law."

Reduced tax revenues exacerbate poverty and inequality, while also undermining the enjoyment of human rights, Mr Boholavsky said.

He added that the lost revenue represented more than the cost of implementing the Millennium Development Goals.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 1'00"

 

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