FATF Releases New Evaluation of U.S. - Nonprofit Recommendation Addressed

December 2, 2016

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released the results of its Mutual Evaluation of the United States on Dec. 1, 2016, assessing compliance with its 40 anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering standards, including Recommendation 8 (R8) on nonprofit organizations (NPOs). Key comments are below.

FATF’s 2016 Evaluation of the U.S. - Summary and Analysis

December 2, 2016

The Financial Action Task Force released the results of its Mutual Evaluation of the United States on Dec. 1, 2016, assessing compliance with its 40 anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering standards, including Recommendation 8 (R8) on nonprofit organizations (NPOs). While the evaluation found the U.S. to be “largely compliant” with R8, it noted that R8 was revised in June 2016. The evaluation is based on the prior version.

Revision of FATF Recommendation 8 Applauded by NPO Sector

Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) are cheering the recent revision of the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) Recommendation 8 (R8), removing the term "particularly vulnerable" to describe NPOs and has long hampered their legitimate and essential work around the world. 

At its Plenary in South Korea June 22-24, FATF changed R8, relating to laws on nonprofits, to acknowledge that not all NPOs are at risk of terrorist abuse and directs countries to undertake a risk-based approach when considering counter-terrorism financing measures. In addition, changes to the accompanying Interpretive Note, along with the June 2015 Best Practices Paper, will assist countries in taking a more proportional approach towards the sector. More than 180 jurisdictions worldwide are committed to the implementation of R8. 

Read the press release here

No, the FATF Doesn't Require That

March 16, 2016
Andrea Hall

Dear governments of the world considering repressive measures disguised as counterterrorism,

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) does NOT require that you violate human rights. In fact, they've asked you to use a risk-based approach when enacting laws to counter the financing of terrorism and tailor them to specifically target money laundering and terrorist financing - nothing less, nothing more. 

Webinar Recording Now Available

Event Date: 
September 12, 2016

The Global NPO Coalition on FATF presents:
"Nonprofits No Longer 'Particularly Vulnerable': What's Next?"

Broadcast on September 12, 2016

Recording now available at http://bit.ly/2cfpZnp 

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has revised its Recommendation 8 on nonprofits to no longer characterize them as "particularly vulnerable" to terrorist abuse and made important changes to the Interpretive Note to this Recommendation. NPOs are now wondering how their countries will react to these revisions and how they can ensure that national implementation is beneficial to nonprofits and in line with FATF's new risk-based approach. 

Discussion centered on how we got here and what you can do to help shape the road ahead. 

Now Is the Time to Weigh In on Counter-Terrorism Financing Regulations

April 22, 2016

Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) have several opportunitites for advocacy around counter-terrorism financing (CTF) laws and policies that impede their work. At its April 18 consultation with NPOs in Vienna, Austria, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) agreed to accept written comments on revisions to its Recommendation 8 (R8) on nonprofits and look at NPO-suggested revisions to the Interpretive Note (IN). 

Article Highlights Civil Society Advocacy Around FATF

A new article on the Open Democracy media platform highlights the important advocacy work of the Global NPO Coalition on FATF and discusses how nonprofits can harness the Coalition's recent successes to open space for civil society around counterterrorism financing laws and policies. The Charity & Security Network co-chairs the Global Coalition. 

The article coincides with the opening of a one-week public consultation of FATF's  Recommendation 8 and the Interpretive Note. The piece notes that FATF was relatively unknown until the Coalition began to engage the global standard-setting organization four years ago. Since then, it has "mobilized support from 123 organizations in 46 countries, representing a diverse range of non-profits," the article states. As a result, "FATF has revised its guidance to remind governments that civil society organizations are not all vulnerable to exploitations, and that governments should assess actual risks in partnership with civil society, rather than fast-tracking restrictive one-size-fits-all laws."

The Coalition has also spoken out on the problem of FATF recommendations being used "to stifly the very actors who are most likely to challenge extremist ideologies within communities," the article notes. Civil society groups must now use these successes to push back against counter-terrorism finance laws that restrict the work of nonprofits, and inhibit human righs and civil liberties. The article cites specific examples of restrictive laws in places like India and Sierra Leone.

For the Charity & Security Network, the next step will be to bring U.S. law in line with the newer FATF language on using a risk-based approach and being careful not to restrict freedoms of association and assembly. 

To learn more about our advocacy on this issue, visit our FATF page

Special Rapporteur Calls on FATF to Consider Civil Society's Role in Counterterrorism

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, called on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to improve its cooperation with civil society and consider it's valuable contribution to the fight against terrorism. He commended FATF on its decision to revise its controversial Recommendation 8 (R8), which requires FATF member states to ensure that nonprofits are not used to fund terrorism. In recent years, oppressive governments have used R8 to crack down on dissent. 

"Counter-terrorism measures contribute to the current trends of shrinking space for civil society or the non-profit sector," Kiai said in his written statement to FATF. He added that "civil society's contribution to finding solutions, though often overlooked and underutilized, is indispensable." 

FATF met April 18 with representatives of nonprofit organizations to discuss revisions to R8 as well as its Interpretive Note.