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Illicit Financial Flows, Corruption, and Sustainable Economic Development in Tunisia

By Sami Dabbegh Since the outbreak of the so-called “Jasmine Revolution” five years ago, leading to the ouster of former president Ben Ali, Tunisia’s key economic and social problems have not been tackled in a way that...

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Stop the Bleeding — Curbing Illicit Financial Flows Video Recap

By Tim Hirschel-Burns “A global human society, characterised by islands of wealth, surrounded by a sea of poverty, is unsustainable.” This quote from Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa, concludes the recently released video “Stop...

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Implications of a Brexit: A U-turn in tackling global tax avoidance?

With just days remaining until Britain decides on its EU membership, the UK is at a crossroads. It has a historical choice to make, with various consequences attached to the decision on the 23rd of June on whether it becomes the first ever country to leave the EU. Those consequences could include undermining the leading role that Britain has taken in the global fight against corruption and transforming Britain into an even greater tax haven for multinationals.

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Getting a Global Legal Entity Identifier Number is as Easy as L-E-I

The global community recently began implementing a system of transparent, open source ID numbers—Legal Entity Identifiers (LEI)—to help companies, regulators, investors, and the public see how parent and subsidiary companies are related. Global Financial Integrity has been supportive of this corporate transparency tool, and I participated in the early stages of creating the new global LEI system. To test out and demystify the new system, I decided to have GFI register to get its own LEI number. Ten minutes and US$219 later we were done, and now I’m going to explain just how easy the process was.

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Panama Papers Prove Law Enforcement Right on Beneficial Ownership

“ICE has long recognized the misuse of corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) formed under State law as a serious threat to the ongoing effort to combat international criminal activities. The lack of corporate transparency has allowed...

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Don’t Take a Page out of Their Book: How Illicit Financial Flows Reduce Funds for Youth Education in Malawi

A recent Global Financial Integrity study concluded that measurable illicit financial outflows topped the $1 trillion mark in 2013. The inclusion of illicit financial flows (IFFs) in the Sustainable Development Goals was an affirmation of the detrimental impact these flows have on the development of low income countries. Amongst the most keenly affected are children, who lose out on quality education due to insufficient government funding. I was able to witness just this, when I spent the 2013 academic year at a village school just outside the city of Zomba, Malawi, a country that GFI estimates loses on average US$650 million per year in illicit outflows.

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UN’s ECOSOC Youth Forum: “Youth Taking Action to Implement the 2030 Agenda”

On February 1st through 2nd, I and other youth representatives from around the world met at the UN’s ECOSOC Youth Forum to discuss how we can actively influence the implementation of the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A highlight of the event was a speech by Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Youth, who argued for his “Ten Myths about Youth,” in which he asserted that youth are not the future, seeing as we comprise so much of the world today and are directly and immediately affected by any decisions that take place. Youth are as much the present as any other group in society—participating youth repeatedly expressed their concerns about the current lack of employment opportunities (in advanced and developing economies alike). High levels of youth unemployment are correlated with major losses in human capital development, income and employment stability, and aggregate economic gains.

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Companies in extractive industries report their payments to governments more, but more work is needed

For over a decade now, various global initiatives have promoted the design and implementation of international standards for governments and companies in the extractive sector to publish detailed information about their output and revenues. In 2002, after major corruption scandals emerged in Angola, Publish What You Pay (PWYP; a global coalition of civil society organizations) demanded oil, gas and mining companies to publish what they paid governments.

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