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.
Published by the Humanitarian Policy Group in December 2013, Talking to the Other Side –Humanitarian Negotiations with Al-Shabaab in Somalia is an in-depth study that sheds light on dynamics and details of negotiations between aid organizations and Al-Shabaab, primarily between 2008 and the famine of 2011. It provides historical context to the impossible choices facing aid agencies and details how both Al-Shabaab and the actions of donor governments ex
The International Center for Non Profit Law’s (ICNL) Research Center provides resources that cover current issues affecting the legal framework for civil society law. ICNL's Online Library currently contains over 3300 resources including a law database, reports, and other civil society legal resources from 202 countries ranging in 61 different languages.
Host States and Their Impact on Security for Humanitarian Operations, released by Humanitarian Outcomes, aims to explore why major violence against aid workers is increasingly concentrated in a small number of extremely insecure countries. The findings suggest that attacks on humanitarian aid workers are mainly a symptom of state failure as well as a byproduct of war.
Over the last decade counterterrorism measures (CTMs) like the Patriot Act are having a direct and adverse impact on humanitarian action conducted by aid agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), a July 2013 study finds. Commissioned by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the study, titled Study of the Impact of Donor Counter-Terrorism Measures on Principled Humanitarian Action, examines CTMs in the U.S., European Union and several other countries and determined that they unduly restrict aid programs, increase risks for aid workers, limit funding sources, and undermine partnerships with local NGOs. International pressure on governments from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to adopt overly-restrictive regulations of NGOs to prevent terrorist financing also draws scrutiny in the study. The release announcement said, "The major conclusion is that the humanitarian community and donor States need to work more closely together to better reconcile counter-terrorism measures and humanitarian action." In September NRC and OCHA will host an event in New York to initiate such discussions.
A May 2013 article in the Harvard National Security Journal outlines how the “material support” statute has led some humanitarian organizations to scale back or withdraw assistance programs in conflict zones where aid is often most needed. After providing background on the law and the way it has been enforced, it makes recommendations for reforms, including prosecutorial guidelines to formalize safe harbors to allow for humanitarian activities in these types of places.
“In order for peacebuilding to be successful,” the ACCORD Peacebuilding Handbook says, “there is a strong need to understand local contexts and to develop strategies that address root causes of conflict.” Released in April 2013, the Handbook provides an introductory look at the various actors involved in and phases of peacebuilding efforts and identifies different approaches that practitioners have used in recent history when trying to end conflicts nonviolently. “As can be expected from such an ambitious undertaking, a large variety of peacebuilding tasks are conducted at different levels (grass-roots, sub-national, national and international) and at different stages of a conflict-to-peace spectrum (pre-conflict through to post-conflict environments),” it says. The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) is a conflict management organization based in Durban, South Africa, and has worked with former President Nelson Mandela in facilitating the role of civil society in the peace process in Burundi.