Resources

Letter to Geithner: Fix Constitutional Deficiencies in Listing Process

August 16, 2012

The Department of Treasury has an opportunity to address a long-standing problem: the process it uses to shut down charities and freeze their funds.  Two federal court cases have found the current Treasury process to be constitutionally deficient. Improved procedures would also be consistent with the growing international consensus that terrorist listing processes must be fair. 

July 2012 letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner urges him to take some steps to address these problems, by consulting with the U.S. nonprofit sector and establishing a process that is fair and respects the charitable mission of U.S. groups involved in international programs. 

Guidance on Charitable Giving to Syria

August 8, 2012

Over the next year, up to three million people in Syria are expected to be in need of food assistance, according to the UN and Syrian agricultural ministry.

The Treasury Department’s FAQ about its Syria sanctions program and guidance to the public on sending remittances and charitable assistance to Syria, issued on August 8, makes it clear that U.S. NGOs can operate there without having to obtain a specific license from Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

To assist with giving, Muslim Advocates has issued a FAQ about charitable giving to NGOs operating in and around Syria.

DID YOU SEE: Safeguarding Humanitarianism in Armed Conflict

August 5, 2012

A new report by the Charity & Security NetworkSafeguarding Humanitarianism in Armed Conflict examines how the international humanitarian obligations of the U.S. conflict with domestic counterterrorism measures when applied to charities seeking to aid civilians in areas of armed conflict.
 

Download the Executive Summary

“Safeguarding Humanitarianism in Armed Conflict is a comprehensive study of the corrosive effect of counterterrorism measures on humanitarian action. It drives home the point that over-reaction is the very thing that makes terrorism succeed."   

  -- Gabor Rona, Human Rights First

Horn of Africa Crisis: One Year Later

July 22, 2012

One year after the declaration of famine in Somalia, a quarter of the country’s population are still surviving on humanitarian aid. In addition to the food crises, the ongoing conflict has complicated the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people who need it most.

“Humanitarian assistance in Somalia must be impartial,” an early warning report from Oxfam urges. “Somali politics are fluid and fast moving and principled assistance (based on the needs of people and communities) and community ownership are the only ways to mitigate the risks inherent in such an environment.”

WFP: 10 Simple Questions (and answers) on Somalia

Harmon: The Might of American Generosity

July 16, 2012

"One of the most powerful ways to project American values and define our interests is to display generosity and compassion in the wake of natural disasters,” says Jane Harman, a former nine-term Congresswoman and member of the House Intelligence Committee, and now president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Our national standing and overall safety improve when our generosity is on display. Nowhere was this more evident than after the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia. According to the Pew Research Center, the favorability rating of the U.S. more than doubled after food, clean water and other vital relief services began reaching those in need.
 
“Building trust both with citizens and governments after natural disasters can help increase future collaboration on other key issues-with counterterrorism topping the list,” Harman added.

Report: Repressive Regimes Use Anti-Terrorist Financing Measures to Suppress Civil Society

Date: 
May 30, 2012

A February 2012 report from the Transnational Institute and Statewatch finds that the legal and regulatory measures the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommends are being used by governments to suppress nonprofits. The FATF is an international consortium of 36 countries that sets anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering standards used by 180 countries. 

Track II Diplomacy: Laying the Groundwork for Peace

Date: 
May 2, 2012

To achieve peace in today’s complex conflicts, Track II peacebuilding efforts are becoming increasingly important. The most famous of these produced the Oslo accords in 1993. Highlighting the importance of Track II activities, the United states Institute of Peace (USIP) has published, Conducting Track II Peace Making. Written for both Track I and Track II practitioners, this handbook explains the different stages of Track II activities, from assessment and planning to implementation and evaluation. Track II activities typically involve reputable academic, religious, and NGO leaders and other civil society actors experienced in conflict mediation or other areas of social and political expertise.

Deadly Combination: Disaster, Conflict and the U.S. Material Support Law

May 2, 2012

The politicization of disaster response in conflict zones obstructs timely and effective aid delivery and also jeopardizes the safety of aid workers. A new report from the Charity & Security Network, Deadly Combination: Disaster, Conflict and the U.S. Material Support Law, considers two cases: The 2011 famine in Somalia and the summer 2010 floods in Pakistan. In both cases, by giving priority to military objective, the U.S. impaired effective aid delivery by humanitarian organizations, exacerbating the hardship caused by disasters.

The current U.S. government response to disasters occurring alongside terrorist organizations is, at best, a 'wink and nod' gesture that allows for limited access for humanitarian groups (and no legal protections) and, at worst, a blanket ban on any humanitarian operation.

Deadly Combination: Disaster, Conflict and the U.S. Material Support Law

Date: 
April 27, 2012

National security measures in the U.S. negatively impact the speed and mobility of humanitarian relief in the wake of disasters. Deadly Combination: Disaster, Conflict and the U.S. Material Support Law by the Charity & Security Network considers two cases: The 2011 famine in Somalia and the summer 2010 floods in Pakistan. In both cases, by giving priority to military objective, the U.S. impaired effective aid delivery by humanitarian organizations, exacerbating the hardship caused by the disasters.

The politicization of disaster response in conflict zones obstructs timely and effective aid delivery and also jeopardizes the safety of aid workers. The current U.S. government response to disasters occurring alongside terrorist organizations is, at best, a 'wink and nod' gesture that allows for limited access for humanitarian groups (and no legal protections) and, at worst, a blanket ban on any humanitarian operation.

The Kadi Case: Court Decisions on Due Process for Terrorist Listing Differ in EU, U.S.

Date: 
April 3, 2012

Yassin A. Kadi, a businessman and citizen of Saudi Arabia, purused court challenges to being placed on terrorist lists in the European Union (EU) and United States (U.S.). The process and standards used by the EU and U.S. courts differ substantially, leading to different results: the EU courts have ruled the EU listing process lacks fundamental protections, violating EU human rights standards, while the U.S. courts rejected Kadi's constitutional claims.  

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