There is a growing consensus that laws prohibiting support to listed entities “have contributed to a ‘shrinking space’ for those seeking to establish the conditions conducive to peace.” This is the conclusion of a groundbreaking March 2015 report by the Transnational Institute, Building Peace in Permanent War: Terrorist Listing and Conflict Transformation.
Non-profit organizations (NPOs) most at risk of abuse by terrorists appear to be those engaged in service activities and those that operate in close proximity to an active terrorist threat, according the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) 2014 report, Risk of Terrorist Abuse in Non-Profit Organisations. The goal of the typologies report, as it has come to be known, was to better understand the terrorist threat to the NPO sector as it relates to FATF Recommendation 8 (R8), which directs countries to ensure their laws are adequate to prevent abuse of NPOs by terrorists. NPOs provided extensive input for the report and much of it was incorporated. However, in a letter responding to the report the NPOs also cautioned against extrapolating the case studies to the nonprofit sector globally. Overall, the evidence shows that the incidence of terrorist abuse of NPOs is low.
Improvements in peace are ultimately dependent on decreases in corruption, concludes a new report by the Institute for Economics & Peace, Peace and Corruption 2015. Although the report found that keeping corruption under control is essential for building and maintaining peaceful societies, there is no indication of the causal relationship between peace and corruption.
Experiences of injustice, rather than economics, drive youth to armed movements, according to a new report by Mercy Corps, Youth & Consequences: Unemployment, Injustice and Violence. According to the report, a growing body of evidence finds no relationship between unemployment and young people’s willingness to engage in or support political violence. Instead, recruitment is driven by factors such as discrimination, corruption, normalized violence, and poor governance. Furthermore, supply-side vocational training risks raising expectations that cannot be satisfied and aggravating perceptions of unfairness, especially where programs fail to target the most marginalized, are manipulated by local elites, or increase vocational skills rather than the supply of jobs.
On Feb. 19, 2015, Adeso, the Global Center on Cooperative Security and Oxfam, released Hanging by a Thread: The Ongoing Threat to Somalia’s Remittance Lifeline, which details how bank account closures impact many Somalians who depend on remittances, in order to fulfill basic survival needs and invest in small businesses. Remittances are handled by Money Transfer Operations (MTOs) who rely on banks to transfer the funds internationally. Due to the poor financial regulation, the presence of terrorist-listed groups in Somalia and a strict regulatory environment, several principle banks have closed their accounts with MTOs that serve Somalia, essentially, curtailing the flow of remittances sent by family members to help Somalians overseas. In response to public pressure and collective campaigns, the U.S. government has taken modest steps to help the Somali remittance system, but it is “startlingly unprepared to manage the potential fallout” of account closures. In Australia and the United Kingdom the response has also be slow. This report notes that failure to uphold the remittance system could result in black market and illegal money transfer systems that would increase the lack of accountability for transfer operators. It suggests practical steps that governments and actors within the international community should take to sustain the Somali money transfer system as well as the long-term solutions required to establish viable financial institutions within Somalia. The report is a follow up to the 2013 report Keeping the Lifeline Open: Remittances and Markets in Somalia.
European Interagency Security Forum published Communications technology and humanitarian delivery: challenges and opportunities for security risk management in October 2014. Here is their summary:
The articles contained in this publication are dispatches from a new frontline in humanitarian action: the digital frontier. All are written by those observing, experiencing and attempting to respond to the challenges created by the digital revolution and the very real threats it is creating for humanitarian operations. Our aim is to explore the potential of new tools to create a safer, more responsive operational environment for aid workers. (A section by section abstract follows.)
In July, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) published a report on the violations of due process rights in Treasury Dept’s terrorist designation and delisting process. The report covers the problems caused by the process, the legal framework that has allowed Treasury to violate due process rights, and the legal problems that must be addressed to correct the system.
Project SALAM and the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms released the May 2014 report, “Inventing Terrorism” a study illustrating the abusive and overall ineffective nature of anti-terrorism laws to protect America from terrorist attacks. The study states that fewer than six percent of cases that the Department of Justice (DOJ) have listed as “terrorism and terrorism-related convictions,” involved real terrorist threats. The remaining 94 percent of cases are preemptive prosecutions or cases
The European Interagency Security Forum published The Future of Humanitarian Security in Fragile Contexts, An Analysis of Transformational Factors Affecting Humanitarian Action in the Coming Decade, a report on the evolving landscape of humanitarian action. It finds that humanitarian action has seen massive changes resulting in a need for increase security for organizations working in conflict areas. For example there are now many more parties involved, including governments, private sect
A Jan. 30, 2014 study commissioned by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) found deficiencies in the evaluation process undertaken by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The FATF, a global intergovernmental organization that recommends anti-terrorist financing standards, evaluates government’s compliance with recommendations and publishes their ratings.