Resources

Background Document Topic Index

Date: 
September 11, 2015

Here you will find background information on a variety of topics, including humanitarian access, financial access and remittances, material support, U.S. Treasury Department licensing and more. 

You can also go directly to pages containing featured background documents

[Under construction - please check back later for a complete list of documents and links]

 

Humanitarian Access

 

Financial Access and Remittances

 

World-Check: The Dangers of Privatizing Terrorist Lists

Date: 
February 11, 2016

The last ten years has seen rapid growth of private companies that sell lists of people and organizations that are either on a government terrorist list or have been mentioned in news stories, blogs and unverified online sources as having suspected ties to terrorists. With the size and scope of these organizations, concerns have been raised over the lack of accountability and redress for innocent people who find themselves on such lists. This is particularly problematic in the context of charitable giving and program operation, including financial access for charities in the age of bank de-risking.

Impact on Women: Counterterrorism Laws and Policies Restricting Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Work

Date: 
August 19, 2015

A new C&SN Issue Brief examines the impact on women of counterterrorism laws and policies restricting peacebuilding and humanitarian work. It looks at the disproportionate effect that armed conflict has on women, shines a light on the role women are taking in these global hot spots to improve their lives and their communities, and explains how empowering legislation would allow U.S.

Summary: FATF's June 2015 Best Practices Paper

Date: 
July 9, 2015

After draft updates and significant input from the nonprofit organization (NPO) sector, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released its revised Best Practices Paper (BPP) in June 2015. The long-awaited revision incorporates almost all of the changes requested by NPOs with a new emphasis on taking a risk-based approach and avoiding a one-size-fits-all regulatory scheme.

The Financial Action Task Force and Human Rights

Date: 
October 16, 2013

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental body that sets anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering standards that it uses to assess the adequacy of laws and regulations in nearly every country in the world. Since 9/11 it has increased its focus on regulation of financial services and charities.

A PDF of this Factsheet is Available Here. 

OFAC Licenses for Humanitarian Aid

Date: 
July 29, 2013

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) within the U.S. Department of Treasury is tasked, in part, with ensuring that money from U.S. persons and entities does not fall into the hands of terrorist groups. An array of sanction laws have been enacted that make it a crime for money to go to certain countries (for example, Iran and Syria) and certain organizations (for example, Hamas and al-Qaeda). OFAC has the authority both to enforce these laws, by freezing the assets of any U.S. group or individual who violates them, and to provide exceptions to these laws through licenses. 

Negotiating for Aid Delivery in Mali

Date: 
July 10, 2013

July 2013

Mali- Background

4.3 million people in Mali, a West African nation in the heart of the Sahel, are experiencing a humanitarian crisis following the collapse of the country’s central government in March 2012 and a foreign military intervention against armed militant groups in early 2013.  The conflict uprooted thousands of people, and according to Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), over 170,000 Malians are refugees in neighboring countries, and another 270,000 were forced to abandon their homes in the north to seek safety in southern Mali.

Mapping Listed Terrorist Groups and Humanitarian Crises

Date: 
July 10, 2013
 

The U.S. government maintains two lists containing entities (State’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) & Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN)) it believes engage in terrorist activity. It is illegal to provide these groups with material support which is defined broadly in the law to include tangible goods like food or clothing, medical services, and training in conflict mediation. 

But the laws designed to starve the terrorists also make it nearly impossible for humanitarian actors to reach or offer assistance to civilians living in territory controlled by a blacklisted group. That means that in conflict zones or natural disaster areas where these groups are active, providing medical services or distributing non-medicinal necessities such as clean water, tents, blankets, food can be prohibited.

Problems with Humanitarian Access Persist in Syria

Date: 
July 10, 2013

July 2013

Syria - Background

Since the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011, a mostly peaceful mass street protest has transformed into a destructive and deadly civil war pitting the Free Syrian Army (FSA) against the Alawite-dominated security forces of President Bashar al-Assad.  With the conflict raging across much of the country and difficulties getting international aid to civilians inside Syria, the humanitarian situation is described as “catastrophic” and continues to deteriorate at a rapid pace.

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