Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona is a new
entry this year
Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona is a senior research fellow at
the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development
(UNRISD) and a commissioner of the Independent Commission for
Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT), which
seeks to promote debate on international corporate tax reform
that is wider and more inclusive than is possible through any
other existing forum.
The Chilean lawyer has unquestionable pedigree in the areas
of development, human rights and economic inequality, having
previously held roles including: UN special rapporteur on
extreme poverty and human rights between 2008 and 2014; and
research director at the International Council on Human Rights
Policy (ICHRP) between 2006 and 2012.
And she has brought the same zeal to her work on taxation.
In November she wrote a piece for the Huffington Post
– 'It's time for companies to lead the fight against
tax dodging' – in which she pointed out that meeting
Sustainable Development Goals (which have been agreed) will
cost developing countries "more than could ever be delivered by
"Developing countries must be empowered to collect the taxes
they need to end poverty," she urges. "Critical to this is
tackling corporate tax avoidance."
Sepulveda highlighted the example of Caroline Muchanga, a
stall holder in Zambia who she says paid more tax than the
British-owned multinational Zambia Sugar.
"While she struggled to buy school books for the children,
her corporate neighbour used clever tricks and tax havens to
reduce its tax bill to near zero," Sepulveda claims.
But, rather than adopt the Rottweiler-esque 'we are right,
you are wrong; we are good, you are evil' attitude of some
other campaigners, Sepulveda is pragmatic, highlighting
apparent inequalities publicly but also appealing to "good
businesses" to "recognise that they too must play their