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  • Charity & Security Network
    pursue legitimate charitable activities Download the full report Read more about Safeguarding Charities in the War on Terror First U S Charities Gain Accreditation in Muslim Advocates Program Date October 1 2009 Attempting to reduce the apprehension surrounding charitable giving on Aug 25 2009 three American Muslim charities became the first groups to complete an accreditation program Partnering with the Better Business Bureau BBB Muslim Advocates started the Muslim Charities Accreditation Program MCAP in August 2008 to help charities comply with federal regulations and financial rules Read more about First U S Charities Gain Accreditation in Muslim Advocates Program Threats to Civil Society in the U S from Government Restrictions on Nonprofits Date July 16 2009 Author Kay Guinane July 16 2009 Last Wednesday I attended a workshop at the InterAction annual conference where four speakers addressed threats to civil society resulting from government restrictions that limit formation and operation of civil society organizations The U S is among the countries listed where civil society is having such problems Read more about Threats to Civil Society in the U S from Government Restrictions on Nonprofits Administration s Upcoming Shift on Counterterrorism Strategy Should Include Fairness for Charities Date June 26 2009 Author Kay Guinane A May 28 story in the Los Angeles Times reports that the Obama administration is in the process of overhauling U S Read more about Administration s Upcoming Shift on Counterterrorism Strategy Should Include Fairness for Charities Principles of International Charity In March 2005 the Treasury Guidelines Working Group a broadly representative group of U S nonprofits and grantmakers released the Principles of International Charity Principles as an alternative to the Department of the Tresaury s the Anti Terrorist Financing Guidelines Voluntary Best Practices for U S Based Charities The group has called the Guidelines ill

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/Solutions?type=All&page=2 (2016-02-16)
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  • Transparency Groups Support CSN’s Proposals to Reform Treasury Licensing Process | Charity & Security Network
    crises occur U S law prohibits any U S person or organization including humanitarian groups from engaging in transactions with a listed terrorist group However when responding to humanitarian crises as a practical matter NGOs must often conduct logistical and incidental financial transactions such as the payment of road tolls to get access to civilians In order to do this legally they must request a license from OFAC The current process for OFAC to grant these licenses is slow opaque and sometimes ends with a denial of the license with little or no explanation According to the letter many civil society organizations working in conflict zones have complained that OFAC takes months or even years to issue a response to license requests and often denies them based on arbitrary reasoning In some cases charities cannot obtain the name and contact information for the OFAC official processing their request Signers of the letter included the Center for Effective Government Center for Media and Democracy Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington The Constitution Project Government Accountability Project James Madison Project Liberty Coalition National Coalition Against Censorship OpenTheGovernment org Project On Government Oversight Society of American Archivists and the Sunlight Foundation CSN sent proposed reforms to OFAC in July 2013 urging OFAC to establish clearly defined standards for NGOs applying for a license timetables for responding to an application and explanations for any application that is rejected An open and transparent process would provide more guidance to the public promote even handed enforcement and ensure that OFAC responds quickly when humanitarian crises occur saving lives in the process said the Oct 1 letter More on CSN s proposal to OFAC can be found here Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Transparency_Groups_Support_CSN_Proposals_OFAC (2016-02-16)
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  • Proposals To Improve Licensing Process for Charity Programs Sent to Treasury | Charity & Security Network
    have found OFAC s licensing process to be confusing arbitrary and untimely especially in response to requests for conducting aid programs in places where assistance is urgently needed on a large scale The delayed response to the Somalia famine in 2011 is perhaps the clearest example of this Even though the famine was predicted months in advance OFAC did not issue a license until well after tens of thousands of people had already died of starvation Making matters worse the license was applicable only to aid groups who were grantees of the U S Agency for International Development USAID or UN agencies so all privately funded NGOs were excluded A May 2013 report produced by the U S funded Famine Early Warning Network FEWSnet and the UN estimated that more than a quarter of a million people died during the Somali famine from October 2010 to April 2012 While many factors contributed to the massive death toll there is consensus that the humanitarian response to the famine was mostly late and insufficient the study concluded In Gaza NGOs face a number of restrictions on their work because Hamas a group classified as a terrorist group by the U S since 1997 is the elected government This makes providing aid to the thousands of civilians in the territory a significant challenge because any contact with Hamas even if it is solely for the purpose of facilitating the delivery of aid to civilians could be grounds for sanctions by the U S government To illustrate the hurdles facing aid groups working in the territory CSN has obtained a copy of a licensing request from a charity who sought limited contact with Hamas to facilitate the distribution of food educational material and other services to children in Gaza Two years after sending its

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/CSN-Proposals_Improve_Licensing_OFAC (2016-02-16)
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  • Need to Update Treasury’s Terrorist Listing and Delisting Procedures | Charity & Security Network
    review of the list is required The Consequences of Being Listed are Severe The listing process is classified and once a U S person or organization is put on the list All their assets and bank accounts are frozen and their property is seized indefinitely When charities are listed humanitarian operations are shut down and innocent beneficiaries lose vital services It is illegal for any U S person to have any economic transactions with them and a travel ban is imposed no international travel Two Federal Courts Have Ruled the Process Treasury Used to List U S Charities is Unconstitutional In the case of two U S charities Al Haramain and KindHearts the courts found Treasury s process lacks adequate notice of the reasons for the listing and does not provide an adequate opportunity to respond Both courts also ruled that Treasury cannot freeze seize the assets of a charity without first getting a court order based on probable cause Both cases were finalized in 2012 To date Treasury has taken no action to change its regulations to bring the process into line with these court rulings Creating a Fair Process Existing Law and Procedures Provide a Framework New rules for delisting requests can be based on procedures with proven track records The Classified Information Procedures Act already provides protocols for handling secret evidence in proceedings similar to those involving listing and delisting At the UN an Ombudsperson office was created to hear delisting appeals and the U S has endorsed this process Updating the current process for listing and de listing to better respect due process rights and to allow for adequate reviews will strengthen the U S listing regime More transparency and fairness increases public credibility for the listing system A more rigorous process will make the lists

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/background/Terrorist_Listing_Delisting_Factsheet (2016-02-16)
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  • Unequal Enforcement Overview | Charity & Security Network
    corporations Halliburton and Chiquita Brands International have only had to pay fines for similar alleged violations and their operations have not been interrupted or shut down Selective Enforcement Charities Targeted for Harsher Sanctions Double Standard Chiquita Banana Fined Not Shut Down for Transactions with Designated Terrorists With Lawsuit Chiquita Hopes to Keep Terror Finance Skeletons in the Closet Senate Panel A Decade s Worth of Major Money Laundering Risks at HSBC CSN Responds House Oversight Hearing Looks at Impact of Anti terrorist Financing Laws on Lawful U S Charities CSN Comments on Treasury s FAQ for Protecting Charitable Giving Additional Resources Treasury s Biggest Problem Might be Itself President s Cairo Statement on Charitable Giving Rules Welcome Tainted Book A Misguided View About Charities Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The Latest News C SN Joins More Than 50 Orgs in Raising Concerns About UN s Work on

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/resource/Unequal_Enforcment_Overview (2016-02-16)
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  • CSN Comments on Treasury's FAQ for "Protecting Charitable Giving" | Charity & Security Network
    U S charities Representatives of U S charities have repeatedly asked Treasury for examples to support this statement since we want to know what the problems are so we can take steps to stop and or avoid them But the replies are always the same as in this document examples of foreign charities are cited Treasury lists the nine U S organizations it has shut down with limited information about what conduct lead to this action In any event even if one assumes all nine designations were justified that is 9 out of 1 8 million U S nonprofits It does not justify the kind of negative generalization of the entire sector that Treasury makes The net result of this kind of over statement is reduced credibility for Treasury within the charitable community 9 What are the U S and the international community doing about this global threat References to the international community s common goal of stopping terrorist financing should not be read to imply that the international community shares Treasury s approach to national security laws and charities For example the United Kingdom s Charity Commission has a more sophisticated regulatory regime that focuses on solving problems and protecting program beneficiaries It has published a toolkit for charities that provides practical advice based on extensive consultation with UK charities The UK Charity Commission s Toolkit is vastly superior to Treasury s Anti Terrorist Financing Guidelines Voluntary Best Practices for U S Based Charities which Treasury cites as one if its primary tools for raising awareness in the U S charitable sector These Guidelines are so fundamentally flawed that the U S charitable sector has unanimously called for their withdrawal See letter to Treasury from the Council on Foundations and an analysis of problems with the Guidelines Treasury s references to its outreach efforts should not be interpreted as charitable sector support for Treasury enforcement policies and procedures For a summary of a typical meeting between Treasury and sector representatives see here 10 Can Treasury designate a charity for supporting terrorism even if it also engages in charitable activity This answer references terrorist front groups or social wings of terrorist organizations It does not mention that the law provides a very limited humanitarian exemption allowing provision of medicine and religious materials By limiting itself to designation effectively the death penalty for a charity as its sole tool for sanctioning charities Treasury has by passed an opportunity to define situations where donors may contribute goods or skills that serve to separate the social wing from the violent organization This ignores the potential for peacebuilding and transformation of groups that might lead their constituency away from violence 11 How many charities have been designated by the Treasury Department According to the data Treasury presents here U S charities account for only 1 45 of all designations 12 What is the amount of assets blocked due to an interest of U S based charities designated by Treasury Treasury indicates the amount of frozen funds of U S charities is only about 3 million This is not consistent with what has been reported in the press which indicates that at least 7 million has been frozen 5 million from Holy Land Foundation 1 million for KindHearts and 1 million for the Islamic American Relief Agency Treasury needs to provide the public with more detailed information that explains this discrepancy One likely explanation is that the Holy Land Foundation funds were forfeited to the government when it was convicted of criminal material support of terrorism The forfeiture takes title away from the charity and gives it to the government However Holy Land Foundation was not represented by counsel during the trial and was unable to mount a defense It has since obtained counsel who has filed an appeal General information on frozen charitable funds can be found on the CSN website and in Chapter 7 of Collateral Damage How the War on Terror Hurts Charities Foundations and the People They Serve 13 Why are the assets of designated charities frozen and not provided to another charitable organization or returned to the donor community Treasury is correct when it says it does not have legal title to frozen funds Additionally donors do not retain a property interest in charitable contributions Instead the assets of a U S charity are dedicated to the charitable mission stated in its governing documents and are to be used exclusively for that purpose This principle is consistent with state laws that govern incorporation of charities rules governing tax exempt status under Section 501 c 3 of the Internal Revenue Code and the common law of charitable trusts Unfortunately Treasury has ignored the principle that charitable assets must be used exclusively for charitable purposes even though its regulations allow it to grant specific licenses that would allow transferring the funds to legitimate charities Several U S based charities that have been shut down by Treasury have requested that some or all of their assets be transferred this way However Treasury has rejected every request saying said it would not in the national interest 1 Examples are listed in Chapter 7 of Collateral Damage How the War on Terror Hurts Charities Foundations and the People They Serve Treasury also says Congress intended that all frozen funds be held in case victims of terrorism or their families file suit and obtain judgments under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act TRIA 2 Section 201 of the act allows blocked assets to be used to pay judgments from litigation against a terrorist party However TRIA does not authorize funds to be held where no lawsuits have been filed or judgments rendered Only one of the designated organizations the Holy Land Foundation has been brought into civil litigation by victims of terrorism Based on data from UNICEF the United Nations Children s Fund release of 7 million in frozen funds would assist needy children as follows 11 480 000 childre n could receive basic health supplies 12

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/node/389 (2016-02-16)
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  • U.S. Is Arming Syrian Rebels, But Refugees Who’ve Aided Them Are Considered Terrorists (ProPublica) | Charity & Security Network
    under a legal definition of terrorism adopted by the U S government after the Sept 11 attacks those same rebel groups are considered terrorist organizations The designation could prevent some of the more than 2 million refugees who have fled Syria from coming to the United States even if they haven t actually taken up arms against President Bashar al Assad s regime Groups that appear on the State Department s list of foreign terrorist organizations have long been banned from entering the U S But two antiterrorism laws the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act also bar members of armed rebel groups that aren t specifically designated as terrorist organizations Full story here Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The Latest News C SN Joins More Than 50 Orgs in Raising Concerns About UN s Work on Preventing Violent Extremism February 8 2016 New Budget Language

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/US_Arming_Rebels_Syric_Refugees_Aiding_Considered_Terrorists (2016-02-16)
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  • Chiquita Seeks Dismissal in Colombian Case (AP) | Charity & Security Network
    appeals court to block lawsuits filed against it in the U S by thousands of Colombians whose relatives were killed in that country s bloody decades long civil war The produce giant which long had huge banana plantations in Colombia has admitted paying a right wing Colombian paramilitary group 1 7 million over a seven year period The Charlotte N C based company insists it was blackmailed into paying or risking violence against its own operations and employees although in 2007 Chiquita pleaded guilty to U S criminal charges that it had supported terrorists It paid a 25 million fine Full story here Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The Latest News C SN Joins More Than 50 Orgs in Raising Concerns About UN s Work on Preventing Violent Extremism February 8 2016 New Budget Language Intended to Rein In Partner Vetting System January 21 2016 Over 100

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Chiquita_Seeks_Dismissal_Columbian_Case (2016-02-16)
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