(Photo: Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development – APMDD)
While the world grapples with the continuing impacts of the pandemic and the urgent challenge of economic rebuilding, it is “business as usual” for the extractive industry. Considered an essential service in many parts of the world, its operations have been exempt from lockdown and other restrictions. It continues to benefit from tax incentives regimes, accumulating wealth and profit for conglomerates and elite countries where they are registered. From the Swiss leaks to the Paradise Papers, and the most recent expose, the Pandora Papers, the extractive industry has been linked to the layers of financial secrecy that produce illicit financial flows and the web of tax havens that enable massive profit shifting and systematic tax avoidance.
The immense growth in the extractive industry worldwide has not resulted in increased tax revenues for the benefit of people and the planet, but in economic bleeding and rapid revenue loss especially for the resource-rich developing countries. The sector is also implicated in widespread human rights violations (especially of workers, indigenous peoples, and communities affected by its operations) and irreversible damage to the environment and ecosystems. The plunder and pillage of natural resources, human rights violations, tax abuses and other unjust practices must be stopped.
Global Days of Action for tax justice in the extractive industry
The Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ) calls other civil society organisations and social and economic justice movements to join our Global Days of Action for tax justice in the extractive industry, taking place on 25- 26 November, 2021. It will coincide with the 10th year of the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, framework on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, and activities will be staged a few days before the 10th Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights. We aim to make these GDOA a convergence of efforts and mobilisations to call on our governments and authorities to make the extractive sector pay their share of taxes and contribute to the realisation of human rights.
- Build linkages & convergences between the growing #TaxJustice movement and other movements and campaigns focusing on the extractive sector
- Expose the tax abuses of extractive corporations
- Build and shape strong public opinion in support of tax and fiscal justice in the extractive sector
Our demands to governments and authorities
Join us by holding activities highlighting any or all the following demands:
- Stop the plunder and exploitation of natural and human resources and transform extractivist economies characterized by overproduction and overconsumption by the wealthy.
- Ensure a comprehensive and effective tax regime for extractive industries, including through resource or export taxes on raw materials from extractive activities, taxation of services related to extractive industries and progressive environmental taxes. Apply effective anti-abuse measures to prevent corporate tax avoidance and other types of illicit financial flows.
- Levy progressive and adequate tax rates on mining and extractive activities and ensure that this revenue contributes to quality public services for all, with special priority to the needs of mining-affected communities and vulnerable groups.
- Prevent externalisation of costs and scrap wasteful tax incentives granted to extractive industries.
- Hold corporations in mining and other extractive industries to account for their tax abusive practices, including illicit financial flows, and ensure their compliance with environmental and standards, and fiscal policies. Ensure the financial transparency of extractive corporations, and publish all contracts and any agreements entered into by governments for the exploitation of natural resources, including Production Sharing Agreements.
- Ensure transparency and accountability at different levels of government and parliamentary policy-making and regulation over the extractives industry. Implement strict anti-corruption policies and sanction government officials who are involved in corrupt practices in all phases of mining and extractivist activities, from exploration and licensing to production, use and final point of sale. Hold government institutions, parliaments, sub-national state bodies and their agencies to account for any complicity in the tax abuses of mining companies.
- Institute and enforce tighter social, financial and environmental regulations and sanctions over the extractives sector. Phase out provenly harmful and abusive mining projects/companies.
- Reject or cancel provisions for fiscal stability, investor state dispute settlement, grandfathering and other lock-in clauses in treaties, agreements and contracts with extractive industries, which constrain the decision-making processes of governments, legislative and parliamentary bodies over fiscal and regulatory concerns.
- Uphold the rights of communities and women affected by mining and other extractivist activities, including their right to protect their communities.
- Protect the rights of the artisanal miners.
Here are ways to support the GDOA for tax justice in the extractive industry from all around the world:
- Participate in our photo action: Join our photo action on social media by posting a selfie holding your hand as a stop sign with the message “Stop tax dodging and plundering” and/or “Stop undermining human rights”. Here you can find a placard in case you want to print it or put it together with your photo. Do not forget to use the hashtag #TaxJustice and tag the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (FB, TW, IG), Tax and Fiscal Justice Asia – TAFJA (FB, TW), Tax Justice Network Africa – TJNA (FB, TW) and Red de Justicia Fiscal de América Latina y el Caribe – RJFALC (FB, TW).
- Share our demands: You can disseminate our demands by posting our calls on social media.
- Join the event “Repositioning the Africa Mining Vision as a Robust Domestic Resource Mobilisation Tool Post Covid-19”: On 25-26 November, the Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA), through its Stop the Bleeding campaign, will hold a two-day conference in Lusaka (Zambia) about the extractive sector and domestic resource mobilisation, aiming to bring together different stakeholders – government, civil society, media, academia, legislators and communities – and facilitate country, regional and Global South level sharing of lessons and insights on addressing illicit financial flows and tax abuse in the extractives sector.
- Public action in Philippines and press briefing in Asia: On Friday, 26 November, TAFJA and APMDD, in partnership with other social and economic justice movements in Philippines, will hold a public action in Manila calling authorities to probe and sanction mining companies on tax abuses. They will also organise a press briefing, which starts at 11:30 AM (Manila time). Both events will be broadcasted on TAFJA and APMDD‘s Facebook pages. Stay tuned and help us make some noise around it.
- Join the virtual event “Framing Feminist Taxation in Uganda”: On 26 November, Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA), in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), will hold a virtual event to discuss Framing Feminist Taxation, published by GATJ’s Tax and Gender Working Group, AMwA and Womankind Worldwide in June 2021. The event integrates the activities in commemoration of the Global Days of Action for Tax Justice in the Extractive Industry.