Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights

22 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2015

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Date Written: May 22, 2014


In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepulveda, presents fiscal policy, and particularly taxation policies, as a major determinant in the enjoyment of human rights. Taxation is a key tool when tackling inequality and for generating the resources necessary for poverty reduction and the realization of human rights, and can also be used to foster stronger governance, accountability and participation in public affairs. The paper outlines relevant human rights obligations to guide and inform State revenue-raising practices, including the duty to use the maximum available resources for the realization of economic, social and cultural rights. It also analyses the questions of how the principles of non-discrimination and equality and the duty of international cooperation and assistance should inform taxation policies at the global and national levels. After assessing how revenue-raising policies and practices can be strengthened through a human rights-based approach, the paper makes recommendations for fiscal and tax policies that are grounded in human rights and can lead to poverty reduction, sustainable development and the realization of transformative rights. 

Keywords: taxation, human rights, rights-based approach, fiscal policies,

Suggested Citation

Sepulveda Carmona, Magdalena, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights (May 22, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

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