Bank De-risking Represents Market Failure, Report Says

December 10, 2015

Bank de-risking represents a market failure. In such instances, either government or the public sector must intervene to re-align market factors, either through incentive programs or through enhanced regulatory guidance, concludes a new report from the Global Center on Cooperative Security and Oxfam America, Understanding Bank De-risking and its Effects on Financial Inclusion.

According to the report, the goals of financial inclusion and anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) are not inherently in conflict, although tensions emerge in practice. Overly restrictive AML/CFT measures “may negatively affect access to financial services and lead to adverse humanitarian and security implications,” the report states. It adds that de-risking actually contributes to increased vulnerability by “pushing high-risk clients into smaller financial institutions that may lack adequate AML/CFT capacity, or even out of the formal financial sector all together.” 

De-Risking Creates Unintended Consequences for Global Poor

November 23, 2015

Efforts to curb money laundering and illicit terrorist financing have had unintended negative consequences internationally, in particular for people and organizations in poor countries via remittances, correspondent banking and humanitarian aid. More transparency, greater data and a stronger risk-based approach (RBA) are needed, according to a new report from The Center for Global Development, Unintended Consequences of Anti-Money Laundering Policies for Poor Countries.

Anti-money laundering and combating of the financing of terror policies (AML/CFT) have created pressure for institutions to be uniformly risk-averse. As a result of mixed messages and imprecise guidelines from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), along with a chilling effect from enforcement actions and fines on large financial institutions, banks are engaging in “de-risking” by ceasing to engage in any activity with organizations or individuals that a seen to be higher risk. 

Report Highlights Conflict Between Counterterrorism Laws and Humanitarian Action

October 14, 2015

Measures intended to protect the world from terrorism intensify the difficulties for humanitarians in those same areas where terrorists operate. States have found it difficult to create a way for counterterrorism measures and humanitarian principles can co-exist, according to a new research briefing report from the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, Suppressing Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Supporting Principled Humanitarian Action: A Provisional Framework for Analyzing State Practice

Remittances to Somalia Continue to Decline

October 12, 2015

Remittances to Somalia are down significantly, according to a new, real-time look at the issue, Assessment of External Remittances in Selected Urban Areas and Among Displaced Populations Across Somalia. The survey of 2,300 households in urban areas as well as displaced populations throughout the country was conducted in July by Food Security, Nutrition, and Analysis Unit – Somalia (FSNAU), an arm of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Rural areas were not covered due to security and logistical constraints. Participants were asked about remittances received over the previous six months.

Report: Does CVE Work?

October 1, 2015

Does CVE (Countering Violent Extremism) Work? A new report from the Global Center on Cooperative Security asks that question, in an effort to determine the best approach moving forward. 

As the most significant development in counterterrorism in recent years, CVE is at a "fulcrum point," the report asserts. There is enough experience with it to expect data to be collected and analyzed, and these analyses should inform future work in the field if it is to be evidence-based.

Sectoral Equity: UN Special Rapporteur Finds Disparities in Laws for Businesses, Associations

September 28, 2015

States often impose more burdensome regulations on associations than on businesses, according to a new report by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association (A/70/266). The report notes that states have an obligation under international law to both protect the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and to promote those rights. According to the Special Rapporteur, this includes a “duty to create the best possible enabling environment for the existence and operation of associations.” 

Report: The Impact of FATF Recommendation 8 on Civil Society in Europe and Asia

August 20, 2015

Foreign policy concerns regarding an “enabling environment” for civil society organizations (CSOs) are “frequently contradicted by the actions that states demand in the name of ‘counter-terrorism’,” according to an August 2015 report by Statewatch and the Human Security Collective, Countering terrorism or constraining civil society?

Report: How Civil Society Engagement can help the UN Peacebuilding’s Architecture Meet its Purpose

August 7, 2015

In April 2015, the Quaker United Nations Group and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict released a report titled How Civil Society Engagement can help the UN Peacebuilding’s Architecture Meet its Purpose. In addition to reviewing the UN’s Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA), the report explains how civil society is a vital link to the UN peacebuilding efforts as it helps the UN better understand the people and communities they serve.

CSN Essay on FATF in State of Civil Society Report 2015

July 20, 2015

An essay on FATF by the Charity & Security Network’s Kay Guinane is among the 27 guest contributions commissioned by CIVICUS for its State of Civil Society Report 2015 focus on civil society resourcing. “The International Anti-Terrorist Financing System’s Negative Effect on Civil Society Resources” examines the role of FATF in contributing to the global trend of restrictions on civil society. The essay describes the civil society response and advocacy campaigns on FATF, the successes to date and the work that lies ahead.