During his remarks in Cairo, the President acknowledged the “rules on charitable giving” had created harsh barriers for legitimate charities and donors and pledged a “commitment” to remedy those restrictions. On May 12, 2010, a panel of U.S. nonprofit leaders and legal experts examined the administrations’ response to these concerns. The event hosted by the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Charity and Security Network.
On March 1, 2010, the Charity and Security Network held a reception and discussion based on a new book Civil Society Under Strain; Counter-Terrorism Policy, Civil Society and Aid Post 9/11 (Kumarian Press). The books editors, Jeremy Lind and Jude Howell of the London School of Economics Civil Society Centre provided insight from their research about the changing landscape of humanitarian work in a political environment dominated by security concerns.
On Jan. 14, 2010, a roundtable discussion with UK scholar Jonathan Benthall featured research on zakat committees in the West Bank, focusing on their evolutionary process during the past 20 years. Benthall was in Washington, DC to share the findings of a November 2009 report about zakat committees written by his colleague Emanuel Schaeublin of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding in Geneva, Switzerland. Alistair Millar, President of the Fourth Freedom Forum and Co-Director of the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation, described how nonprofit groups reduce the threat of terrorism but have been viewed with suspicion by governments.
Speaking to a standing room only crowd at the National Press Club on March 20, 2009, a panel of NGO leaders explained how ill-advised counterterrorism measures (CTMs) diminish the critical work of humanitarian groups and exacerbate the root causes of terror- poverty, injustice and being excluded from the political process. The panel guests shared an in-depth look at how these issues are experienced by NGOs on the ground.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Zenger Room at the National Press Club
Charities perform work that counters global terrorism by advancing development, human rights, and conflict prevention. Rather than being embraced as a valuable asset in reducing the threat of terror, civil society groups have found themselves the target of counterterrorism policies and enforcement measures that are restrictive and intimidating. Barriers to prevent the financing of terrorism have created a chilling effect both donors and charities. Organizations are fearful of operating humanitarian relief projects in political hot spots. Opportunities to increase our security by reducing the root causes of terror are lost.
On July 1, 2009, a panel discussion featuring U.S. NGO leaders and experts shared their expertise on humanitarian codes, charitable groups and donors affected by U.S. laws and regulations. The speakers voiced concerns over the legal constraints national security laws impose on U.S. charitable organizations that cause tensions with international law and codes for humanitarian aid and development programs and leave donors unsure where to safely and legally contribute.