A new report from the Human Security Collective and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law examines the drivers of the global trend known as "de-risking" as it relates to nonprofit organizations (NPOs).
Inordinate delays in cash transfers, onerous due diligence requirements, inability to open bank accounts and arbitrary closure of bank accounts are all components of de-risking. The report, At the Intersection of Security and Regulation: Understanding the Drivers of "De-risking" and the Impact on Civil Society Organizations, examines these practices an looks at how regulations on money laundering and terrorist financing "permeate policymaking, influencing institutions (perversely, at times) and negatively impacting humanitarian and development work." It delves into the practices of stakeholders, including NPOs, financial institutions, governments, regulators and international organizations, to unpack the mechanisms of governance and accountability "involved in and through the chain of decision-making, underscoring the policy incoherence that is manifest along the way." Three country contexts were chosen to illustrate the research - Brazil, Mexico and Ireland. Ongoing measures aimed at remediating NPOs' financial exclusion are discussed. Read more
Monday, May 7, 2018 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Please join the CSIS Human Rights Initiative, Charity and Security Network, and The Humanitarian Forum for the launch of a series of country case studies on de-risking in conflict zones. Global financial institutions are increasingly terminating or restricting relationships with U.S. nonprofit organizations (NPOs), financial intermediaries, and local organizations in various regions of the world, a trend called “de-risking.” This practice, combined with a complex terror environment, poses enormous challenges to organizations working to deliver aid in areas that need it most, as well as to government policies centered around financial institutions. As work progresses towards finding solutions for NPOs' financial access difficulties, it is integral to ensure that these solutions have a global reach. At the same time, efforts are being made to document the consequences of de-risking of foreign NPOs and their beneficiaries. During this event, expert panelists will discuss the findings of the country case studies, with a focus on Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Palestine.
* Stuart Gordon
Assistant Professor in Managing Humanitarianism and Program Director, International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, London School of Economics
* Tracey Durner
Senior Analyst, Global Center on Cooperative Security
"The world has witnessed an alarming rise in restrictions placed on civil society actors to curtail their space and operations, impeding upon the realization of their rights to the freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly - frequently in the name of countering terrorism and protecting national security, among other drivers," according to a March 2018 report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Counterterrorism Measures and Civil Society: Changing the Will, Finding the Way.
The report is a compilation of five case studies on closing civic space in Australia, Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Hungary and India, with conclusions and recommendations from CSIS staff. According to the report's introduction, the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law has recorded the adoption of 64 restrictive laws on civil society from 2015 to 2016 alone, hindering the ability of civil society actors to "fulfill their vital role of protecting rights and providing services for citizens, and holding governments accountable." The tools used by governments to constrain civic space include legal constraints, arbitrary detention of activists, and verbal discrediting or public vilification through media campaigns or online trolling from non-state actors. Read more