In a July 18 Letter to the Editor published in Just Security, the Charity & Security Network outlines the many problems with domestic countering violent extremism (CVE) programs to date. The letter explains that among the wide array of CVE detractors, not all oppose CVE for the same reasons. C&SN believes that domestic CVE programs have been irrevocably tainted by their relationship with law enforcement, which has primarily targeted Muslim communities with surveillance, entrapment and prosecution rather than rehabilitation, at the expense of civil liberties. While CVE has focused largely on individuals deemed "radicalized" or espousing "extremist" views without evidence of violence, the letter notes, "there is wide agreement among academics that there is no credible way to predict who will become a terrorist. Without such data, it's possible that these practices may have even backfired, and could have contributed to turning some young people towards violent extremism."
A new report from Mama Cash and the Urgent Fund for Women's Human Rights puts a gender lens on the issue of closing space for civil society. Standing Firm: Women- and Trans-Led Organisations Respond to Closing Space for Civil Society is based on 15 interviews with activist groups led by women and transgender people working from a feminist perspective in six countries where closing space is an urgent concern: China, Egypt, India, Russian Federation, Turkey and Uganda.
All groups interviewed reported that their organization had been repressed in relation to the activists' gender and/or the gender focus of their work. Specifically, research revealed closure of many of these organizations as well as the use of sexualized violence to silence them. In addition, societies with restrictive civil society space promote patriarchal values and a binary gender framework within nationalist rhetoric.Activists in all six countries report that "increasingly conservative political forces openly frame women's rights and LGBTQI rights as products of 'Western interference'." Finally, feminist and trans activists, as a result of their history of experiencing exclusion and repression, are creative in their resistance of closing civil society space. As one Russian activist said, 'When they shut the door, we come in the window."
The architects of the AML/CFT framework deny that de-risking problems are caused by their regulations, "asserting instead that the banks are misinterpreting and/or misapplying the requirements, all the while lamenting the disappearance of clean money into 'shadow banking' channels," write Ben Hayes, Lia Van Broekhoven and Vanja Skoric an Open Democracy article calling on the G20 to take decisive action.
The article, De-risking and non-profits, how do you solve a problem that no-one wants to take responsibility for?, describes several "elephants in the room" around the de-risking of nonprofits. These include the wider problems facing non-profit organizations and a "global system for countering terrorist financing that was quickly drawn-up by US officials in the wake of 9/11 and railroaded through the intergovernmental decision-making system in just six weeks." They also ponder questions "as to the ultimate effectiveness of a system whose 'negative externalities' are piling up, but whose impact in terms of actually stopping the flow of funds to terrorist groups and their supporters is at best disputed and at worst rejected outright."
The article states that non-profits are forced to find workarounds rather than solutions, which further embeds financial institution's practices and argues that time should be taken to find real solutions that benefit all parties.