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Independent Expert on foreign debt, other international financial obligations and human rights
Attiya Waris was appointed the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt, other international financial obligations, and human rights by the Human Rights Council at its 47th session, and took up the function on 1 August 2021.
She is the only Professor of Fiscal Law and Policy in Eastern and Central Africa. She holds a PhD in Law and is a specialist in Fiscal Law, Policy and Development. She is an advocate, company secretary and arbitrator of over 20 years standing and was the founding Chair, Fiscal Studies Committee from 2017-2020. She spearheaded the first agreement on sharing of data between a University and a revenue agency globally in 2016. She is an Observer to the UN Tax Committee.
She teaches at the Law School, University of Nairobi, Kenya and has previously taught in South Africa, Rwanda, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. She has researched and published on global, African, Asian, European as well as Latin American issues. Her book 'Tax and Development’ (2013) is the first publication globally that links the areas of tax and human rights and her more recent publication ‘Financing Africa’ is the first publication globally to map out African fiscal systems.
She is fluent in English, French and Kiswahili. She has been invited to speak about taxation, illicit financial flows, tax justice and human rights at some of the leading international and regional organizations & universities as well as before governments and national parliaments across the world.