IFF and Migration

Symposium on IFFs: An International Anti-Corruption Court: A Win Against IFFs, A Win for Africa

The relationship between IFFs and corrupt conduct of various stripes is, perhaps, intuitive. Bribery and embezzlement; money laundering; concealment of taxable business profits; even obstruction of justice around enforcement. All of these are tools in the apron of those who would facilitate and profit from IFFs, whether their misappropriated millions are enjoyed at home or, as is increasingly the case, sheltered and laundered abroad. It has been estimated that the amount of money lost to developing states via IFFs outstrips the amount received in foreign aid by a factor of ten. As the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime tells us, corruption is particularly corrosive because it undermines the proper functioning of governmental entities and institutions, discourages foreign direct investment and perverts the rule of law.

Symposium on IFFs: A Call to Action - Illicit Financial Flows and Migrants’ Right to Development

This essay proposes an alternative to the contemporary theorization of the relationship between Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) and Migrant Rights. Contemporary theorization of the relationship between IFFs and Migrant Rights solidified a linear correlation between human trafficking or smuggling and IFFs. It is common among existent literature to state that human trafficking and smuggling are some of the contributors to IFFs out of Africa. For instance, the High-Level Panel on IFFs from Africa noted that IFFs “typically originate from three sources: commercial tax evasion, trade mis-invoicing, and abusive transfer pricing; criminal activities, including the drug trade, human trafficking, illegal arms dealing and smuggling of contraband; and bribery and theft by corrupt government officials." Further notable is that analysis of the impact of IFFs on development usually tends to marginalize migrant (“a person outside of a State of which they are a citizen or national, or in the case of a stateless person or person of undetermined nationality, their State of birth or habitual residence”) communities in its theorization or empiricism. That is partly because contemporary development studies fail to recognize the relationship between IFFs and migrants’ right to development. Therefore, this essay is an early-stage critical theorization and a call to action for scholars to theorize the relationship between IFFs and migrant rights to development.