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How far do Switzerland’s policies on financing for development (particularly tax and debt) promote rights and equality of persons with disabilities?

Fact sheet by Polly Meeks, independent researcher and consultant

Executive Summary Fact Sheet

Public resources contribute to upholding the rights and equality of persons with disabilities in diverse ways – from investments in accessible infrastructure, information and services; through social protection measures to ensure enjoyment of an adequate standard of living and compensate for the extra costs of disability; to funding for organisations of persons with disabilities that can hold governments accountable against their obligations under the CRPD.

States have primary responsibility for mobilising public resources to uphold the rights of their citizens and tackle inequalities within their borders. Yet in many countries in the Global South, the availability of public resources is severely compromised by the extraterritorial impacts of the policies decided elsewhere. Switzerland, through its current policies on corporate taxation, financial transparency and the oversight of private creditors, is missing major opportunities to tackle these threats to public resources in the Global South. And given the particular importance of public resources in upholding the rights and equality of persons with disabilities, these missed opportunities are liable to hit persons with disabilities especially hard.

Switzerland should review the extraterritorial impact of its approach to corporate taxation, to financial secrecy and to debt burdens associated with private creditors. Any such review should focus particularly on the impact on people experiencing the most extreme inequalities, including persons with disabilities, and should align fully with human rights obligations including the CRPD.

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