Model Policies for Fair Procedures for Listing and Delisting U.S. Charities

After summarizing current law on how U.S. charities may be shut down for supporting terrorism and citing problems with the lack of due process for charities to defend themselves, this article presents the rationale for a new approach and specific reforms that can bring the system into compliance with constitutional standards.

Summary of Current Law

Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Facilitate Humanitarian Action in Conflict Zones

December 11, 2013

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) introduced a bill (HR 3526) in Congress that would allow humanitarian groups to offer assistance to civilians living in conflict zones without fear of violating laws that prohibit any diversion of resources to sanctioned entities. 

The bill, titled, the Humanitarian Assistance Facilitation Act of 2013, says that “humanitarian organizations, acting in good faith and with the appropriate restrictions and controls in place, should not be prevented, directly or indirectly by Executive orders or counterterrorism laws, from accessing and providing aid to civilian populations before or early on in humanitarian crises.”

 

Proposal for Due Process for Nonprofits Where Classified Information is an Issue

November 6, 2017

Since passage of the PATRIOT Act and other national security measures taken after the 9/11 attacks, nonprofit organizations may face government enforcement action that is based, in whole or part, on classified information. This creates due process problems in civil enforcement cases, such as terrorist listing or economic sanctions enforcement, where the protections afforded criminal defendants in the Classified Information Procedure Act (CIPA) (18 USCS Appx. § 6(e)) do not apply. Because civil enforcement can effectively close a U.S. nonprofit, this proposal calls or adapting CIPA standards and procedures for government action against NPOs. 

New Risk Management Toolkit for Counterterrorism Measures

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has released a risk management toolkit to address the challenges and risks associated with counterterrorism measures and their impact on principled humanitarian action. Intended as a reference tool for policy- and decision-makers, it draws on ideas, methods and procedures being used by a number of national and international NGOs and UN agencies in global hot spots.

Because humanitarian needs are often greatest in terrorist-controlled areas, humanitarian actors must be careful of both the criminal and contractual risks presented by counterterrorism measures. The toolkit looks at a variety of approaches including codes of conduct, due diligence, human resource and anti-diversion policies as well as monitoring and evaluation procedures. Read more

Good Governance Can Erode Appeal of Sectarian Groups

An absence of inclusive, responsive and accountable governance was a major factor in the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to research by the humanitarian organization Mercy Corps.

In its new report, Investing in Iraq’s Peace: How Good Governance Can Diminish Support for Violent Extremism, Mercy Corps explains that after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, political players fanned the country’s sectarian flames for their own gain. These actions propelled sympathy for armed insurgencies, which “purported to offer marginalized groups an alternative to the corrupt Iraqi government,” the report states.  Read more

Good Governance Can Move Iraq Towards Peace

Date: 
January 21, 2016
Author: 

An absence of inclusive, responsive and accountable governance was a major factor in the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to research by the humanitarian organization Mercy Corps.

In its new report, Investing in Iraq’s Peace: How Good Governance Can Diminish Support for Violent Extremism, Mercy Corps explains that after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, political players fanned the country’s sectarian flames for their own gain. These actions propelled sympathy for armed insurgencies, which “purported to offer marginalized groups an alternative to the corrupt Iraqi government,” the report states.