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.
This case study of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) evaluation of the United States, which took place in 2015-2016, reviews the experience of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) seeking to provide input to the evaluation team and makes recommendations to make the process for stakeholder input more transparent and streamlined.
Investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election has generated high interest in the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which requires registration and disclosure by those acting “for or on behalf of” foreign governments and entities. Now several bills have been introduced in Congress to strengthen FARA. Such amendments have the potential to create problems for nonprofit organizations (NPOs) and should be closely monitored and analyzed if any move forward. FARA has been cited as a model to justify restrictive legislation in several countries that target NPOs and infringe on their rights of association, assembly and expression. This analysis provides background on FARA, a description of pending bills in Congress and links to summaries of foreign laws that distort FARA’s legitimate aims in order to close civil society space.
Since the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project (HLP), peacebuilding organizations have faced significant uncertainty as to what communications with Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) remain permissible under the prohibition on material support of terrorism in 18 USC 2339B. Although there have been no prosecutions for peacebuilding activities since the decision, the lack of clarity about how it should be interpreted and applied has created a chilling impact on peacebuilding activities, inhibited constitutionally permitted speech and association, and reduced the kinds of contacts that might help prevent/counter violent extremism and terrorism. This fact sheet is intended to provide a measure of clarity by drawing on representations made by the government to the Supreme Court during oral argument and in its brief in the Holder litigation about what it considers to be permissible communications with listed groups. A chart summarizing these statements is included. A PDF of this analysis is available here.
When U.S. sanctions laws are applied to U.S. charities, funds can be frozen indefinitely, despite tax rules that require they be distributed for charitable purposes when a charity shuts down. In the Oct. 10, 2016 issue of Tax Notes, attorneys Cherie L. Evans of Evans & Rosen LLP and Kay Guinane, Director of the Charity & Security Network, explain how the “Gap Between Tax and Sanctions Law Blocks Life-Saving Aid.” After summarizing the relevant provisions of tax and sanctions law and key court cases, the article explains how designation of a U.S.
The Financial Action Task Force released the results of its Mutual Evaluation of the United States on Dec. 1, 2016, assessing compliance with its 40 anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering standards, including Recommendation 8 (R8) on nonprofit organizations (NPOs). While the evaluation found the U.S. to be “largely compliant” with R8, it noted that R8 was revised in June 2016. The evaluation is based on the prior version.
The Partner Vetting System (PVS) is a pilot program created to vet individuals in nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and for-profit entities who apply for United States Agency for International Development (USAID) contracts and grants, to ensure that USAID-funded activities are not inadvertently providing support to entities associated with terrorism. Under the PVS pilot program, the U.S. government requires many grant applicants to submit detailed personal information on key employees and subcontractors to USAID for comparison with intelligence databases.
In anticipation of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) evaluation of U.S. implementation of its anti-money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/TF) standards, the U.S. Department of Treasury published the first National Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment on June 12, 2015.
One year after President Obama’s speech at the United Nations on the need to protect civil society globally the White House released two documents that set out an ambitious agenda to strengthen civil society. First, a Presidential Memorandum directed federal agencies that conduct international work to take proactive steps in four concrete areas, and to report back on their progress annually. The second document, a Fact Sheet announced a new project to create Regional Civil Society Centers around the world and new actions as part of the administration’s Stand with Civil Society Agenda. These include a commitment to consult with civil society on revision of the Financial Action Task Force’s update of guidance on anti-terrorist financing regulations for nonprofits. The documents do not address issues of U.S. restrictions on civil society but potentially open the door to make progress on undue counterterrorism restrictions imposed on U.S. nonprofits. This summary provides details on the new commitments, provides commentary and highlights areas that could be most helpful in addressing counterterrorism restrictions.