Charity & Security Network is tracking the following bills during the 115th Congress:
The Charity and Security Network has created a number of abstracts of reports and studies relevant to our membership, with links to the original reports. Here you will find a list of these abstracts, organized by topic, including counterterrorism, financial access and remittances, humanitarian aid, material support and more.
You can also go directly to the most recent reports and studies.
The Charity & Security Network has prepared analysis on a number of topics relevant to our members, including Enabling Environment for Civil Society, Partner Vetting System, Material Support and Humanitarian Aid, as well as discussion of U.S. Departments of Treasury and State policies. Here you will find a list of topics and links.
The Charity and Security Network provides a list of experts with policy, legal and field experience on how national security laws impact nonprofits and the people they serve. To invite them for press interviews, conferences or other speaking events, please contact us.
This section provides overview and analysis of the major cases on counterterrorism law affecting humanitarian aid and peacebuilding organizations. Here you will find a list of cases with links to summaries and analyses.
In August 2017, Chatham House’s International Security Department and International Law Programme issued a report -- Recommendations for Reducing Tensions in the Interplay Between Sanctions, Counterterrorism Measures and Humanitarian Action -- that identifies concrete ways for all stakeholders to address the issue.
Often, sanctioned or terrorist-designated groups control areas of humanitarian need. The legal prohibitions regarding these groups can include incidental payments that humanitarian actors may need to make in order to operate. Continuous engagement between the international, state, banking and humanitarian sectors is critical to alleviating the tension, the report states. It asserts that systematically adopted exemptions in UN and EU sanctions regimes are the most effective way to ensure that restrictions do not apply to humanitarian action. Currently, only one conflict-related UN Security Council sanctions regime includes this type of exemption.
"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
A new study from the UK's Charity Finance Group found that 79% of charities face some kind of difficulty in accessing or using mainstream banking channels. The same number of respondents also said that banks had become "substantially or slightly more risk averse to them."
The report is based on results from the survey responses of 34 charities, ranging from medium and large organizations. Eighty-eight percent had income over £1 million, all worked overseas, 62% were secular organizations, 21% identified as Christian, and 12% as Islamic. The types of work conducted included humanitarian, sanitation, peacebuilding, medical assistance, research, human rights, education, welfare, children, grantmaking and environmental protection. Eighty-three percent worked in Africa, 74% in Asia and 62% in Europe. More than 50% worked in the MENA region.
The report, Impact of money laundering and counter-terrorism regulations on charities, found the following results:
41% had transfers delayed by a correspondent bank
32% had transfers delayed by their bank
27% had transfers denied by their bank
20% had transfers denied by a correspondent bank
15% had accounts closed
15% had delays in opening bank accounts
8% had donations blocked
8% had funds frozen
6% had accounts denied
For most respondents, banks did not provide any explanation for why the charities were being derisked. Read more
On February 15th, 2018, the Ministry of Finance of the Netherlands, the Human Security Collective and the World Bank hosted an international stakeholder meeting with on derisking of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) in The Hague. New research on the impact of derisking of NPOs was presented and 75 representatives from NPOs, governments, international organizations, financial institutions and academia shared their knowledge and insights during three roundtable sessions, which took place under Chatham House Rules. Discussions included the impact of financial access challenges for NPOs, banks' concerns about regulatory actions and costs of compliance, and policy implementation and coordination
In the realm of new research, a recent study by the London School of Economics found that in some cases aid organizations and other NPOs will “cease to provide assistance” because of refusal from banks to take on the risk. When sending international wire transfers, banks may demand extra information such as detailed lists of beneficiaries. This not only delays the transfers, but also endangers local contacts in conflict areas because of the degree of transparency it entails. While Significant Well-Established Entities (SWEEs), or larger NGOs, are better able to mitigate the requirements of an increased due diligence threshold, smaller NPOs often lack the resources and operational framework to do so. Raising mutual awareness among NPOs (via roundtable initiatives) is important to bolster engagement. Also, pooling resources within the broader NPO sector, coupled with a continuous exchange of information, could be beneficial. Read more
The primary goal of a study conducted by Mercy Corps was to test the possible causality between young people’s improved economic outcomes and their support for political violence -- defined as “violence targeted primarily at the state."
The study, Can Economic Interventions Reduce Violence?, examined young people’s economic conditions, psychosocial well-being, and perceptions of government to see how interventions may reduce willingness to support armed opposition groups (AOGs). The research focused on youth in the Kandahar Province (second largest city in Afghanistan), afflicted by high unemployment rates and violence. Though the provincial government maintains control of Kandahar and neighboring districts, AOGs, such as the Taliban, still have a strong influence in the area.