What are the implications of human rights for minerals taxation?
This article examines the relationship between a state's taxation of mineral revenues and the human rights obligation to use 'maximum available resources' to further citizens' welfare. These both have implications for understanding the other but there has been little attention to their interaction. Contemporary (economic and policy) approaches to mineral taxation revolve around economic rent and providing a 'neutral' economic environment that does not influence investment decisions. There is no reference to human rights obligations--these are just part of the state's general responsibilities for which it can legitimately raise taxes. Taxation analysis largely ignores whether the state wants money to ensure there is adequate food for the population, or instead to stage the Miss Universe pageant. Human rights has relevance for the state's management of resources. The requirement for states to apply 'maximum available resources' to fulfil human rights suggests that mineral extraction (and taxation) should occur as fast as possible to be applied for the human rights of the current population A more considered analysis weighs against such a literal interpretation. Nevertheless, the requirement of using 'maximum available resources' to fulfil human rights has important implications for mineral taxation.
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