Resources

Abstract: How Derisking Impacts Women Peacebuilders in the MENA Region

Date: 
December 19, 2017
Author: 

Women peacebuilders from around the world have increasing voiced concern about the impact of the derisking phenomenon. To learn more, Women Peacemakers Program held a regional consultation in Lebanon in January 2017 that was attended by 12 civil society organizations focused on peacebuilding and women's rights. 

The resulting consultation report, Women Peacebuilders from the MENA Region Discuss Shrinking Civil Society Space Due to Countering Terrorism Financing, provides brief background information on the issue of counter-terrorism financing, its impacts on women's civil society organizing the MENA region, and key recommendations formulated by the consultation's participants. 

Read the report.

Financial Inclusion Conference Issues Report

Date: 
December 19, 2017
Author: 

On October 2, 2017, Charity & Security Network joined more than 60 members of civil society, government, intergovernmental organizations, academics and the financial sector in The Hague to discuss the impact of countering terrorism financing regulations on shrinking civil society space and to develop policy recommendations. 

The meetings, cosponsored by C&SN, the Women Peacemakers Program, Duke Law International Human Rights Clinic, Human Security Collective and Transnational Institute, resulted in a new conference report, Financial Inclusion for Freedom and Security. The report identifies five core areas of impact, including reduced space for women's rights organizing; impacts on programs, partners and beneficiaries; financial exclusion; prohibitive costs of due diligence and other administrative burdens; and adaptive measures affecting the safety and security of women's rights organizing. The report also summarizes C&SN's February 2017 financial access report and the meeting's discussion around it. 

The conference report sets out a series of recommendations, including, but not limited to creating long-term dialogue with the financial and government sectors, reasonable risk sharing, and donor investment in direct funding mechanisms. 

Read the report

Abstract: Global Terrorism Index 2017

Date: 
November 21, 2017
Author: 

The total number of deaths due to terrorism is down 13% over last year, according to the Global Terrorism Index 2017, published by the Institute for Economics & Peace. Four of the five countries most impacted by terrorism - Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan and Nigeria - saw 33% fewer deaths, and terrorism deaths attributed to Boko Haram were down 80%. At the same time, ISIL killed 50% more people in 2016, making it their deadliest year with over 9,000 deaths, primarily in Iraq. 

At the same time, more countries experienced at least one death from terrorism, more than at any time in the past 17 years, the report notes. 106 nations experienced at least one terrorist attack. Smaller increases in terrorism occurred in South Sudan, Turkey, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

2016 was the most deadly year for terrorism in OECD member countries since 1988, not counting the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. Since 2014, there has been a general shift towards simpler attacks against non-traditional and softer civilian targets. 

Read the full report. 

Regulation of Nonprofit Organizations in the U.S. - An Overview

Date: 
November 21, 2017

Click here for a printable PDF of this Issue Brief. 

 

Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) in the United States are subject to a complex system of regulation and oversight that combines registration, reporting and monitoring at the federal, state and local levels. These regulatory regimes mostly revolve around raising, spending and accounting for funds, protecting the public from fraud, and encouraging charitable contributions. The First Amendment protections for freedom of association, assembly and expression guard against undue regulation of NPOs. In some cases, religious organizations are exempt from regulatory requirements to avoid entanglement of church and state.

 

Case Study: U.S. Nonprofit Organizations and the FATF Mutual Evaluation Process 2015-16

Date: 
November 20, 2017
Author: 

This case study of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) evaluation of the United States, which took place in 2015-2016, reviews the experience of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) seeking to provide input to the evaluation team and makes recommendations to make the process for stakeholder input more transparent and streamlined.

Abstract: Why Shrinking Civil Society Space Matters

Date: 
November 16, 2017
Author: 

A new report from the European Foundation Centre and the Funders Initiative for Civil Society examines how the trend of shrinking civil society space affects development funders and actors. The report, Why Shrinking Civil Society Space Matters, is intended to develop better insight into the issue and to increase awareness of the threats to civil society and to discuss approaches that can enable a more effective response to reverse this trend. 

According to the report, a healthy civil society is key to increasing equality and reducing poverty in development work. The disturbing trend in restrictions on civil society's ability to operate, especially in developing countries, stems from a range of government measures, including constraints on freedom of assembly to imposing excessive red tape and limitations on foreign sources of funding. This can stifle the ability of INGOs to support local organizations, engage in advocacy work and carry out programs. 

Foreign Agents Registration Act, Proposed Amendments and Protecting Nonprofit Organizations

Date: 
November 7, 2017

Investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election has generated high interest in the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which requires registration and disclosure by those acting “for or on behalf of” foreign governments and entities. Now several bills have been introduced in Congress to strengthen FARA. Such amendments have the potential to create problems for nonprofit organizations (NPOs) and should be closely monitored and analyzed if any move forward. FARA has been cited as a model to justify restrictive legislation in several countries that target NPOs and infringe on their rights of association, assembly and expression. This analysis provides background on FARA, a description of pending bills in Congress and links to summaries of foreign laws that distort FARA’s legitimate aims in order to close civil society space.

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. 

Report Examines FATF Recommendations as Vehicle for Closing Civil Society Space in Nigeria

Date: 
August 24, 2017
Author: 

Prior to its revision in 2016, the Financial Action Task Force's Recommendation 8 referred to nonprofit organizations as "particularly vulnerable" to terrorist abuse. As a result, many countries implemented laws and policies designed to curb this perceived risk. As a result, NPOs have faced increased scrutiny and legal constraints, shrinking the space for charitable work. 

A report from Spaces for Change in Nigeria, Closing Spaces for Civil Society and Democratic Engagement in Nigeria,  examines the impact of Recommendation 8 on civil society in that country. The first part, Beyond FATF: Trends, Risks and Restrictive Regulation of Non-profit Organisations in Nigeria, is the product of systematic review of that country's legal framework for combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism to understand the connection between Nigeria's implementation of Recommendation 8 and shrinking space for civil society there. The second part, Closing Spaces for Civic Engagement and Civil Society in Nigeria, assesses the effectiveness of these policies and created a database of closed spaces, highlighting 100 incidents of overbroad application of these laws. 

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