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  • STUDY: Talking to the Other Side- Humanitarian negotiations with Al-Shabaab in Somalia
    of aid diversion and corruption is noted making it clear that the problems with diversion of aid during the 2011 famine did not begin with and were not unique to Al Shabaab It notes that T he political objectives of donor governments increasingly constrained the delivery of aid and worked against the efforts of agencies to appear impartial neutral and independent The interviews with Al Shabaab officials demonstrated that aid organizations were seen as potential and some cases actual fronts for Western intelligence services There was a widespread perception that food aid in particular was aimed at making Somalis dependent on the West Bans on aid agencies were justified on the grounds that they were engaged in espionage Military pressure exacerbated these suspicions the degree of military threat facing Al Shabaab appeared to correlate to the extent of access Al Shabaab was willing to grant The report identifies both Al Shabaab imposed restrictions and counterterrorism measures and policies of donor governments as impediments to aiding civilians Al Shabaab restrictions Al Shabaab had a highly structured system of regulation taxation and surveillance of aid agencies This included a Humanitarian Coordination Office that was in charge of access policy However often negotiations occurred at the local level and results varied from place to place Al Shabaab required aid agencies to pay to register and fees ran from 500 to 10 000 depending on the size and type of organization The group also required reporting on activities and names of staff along with pledges not to proselytize or publicly criticize Al Shabaab In some cases the group took over aid delivery and favored their own supporters The consequences of breaking the rules were extreme expulsion additional taxation and attacks on aid workers Restrictions and requirements from donor governments Fear that aid would benefit

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/1165 (2016-02-16)
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  • Report: Protect Humanitarian Space in Somalia
    have left millions of Somalis displaced and in need of life saving assistance According to the report the concept of humanitarian space involves agency operational access protection and assistance to meet the needs of civilians caught in harm s way This space however is constantly under attack due to overly broad and burdensome counterterrorism measures 3 that do not respect the principles and obligations found in international humanitarian law In Somalia the reduction in operating space for international aid groups created by political and security barriers has directly contributed to the massive food crisis For example at least 50 million worth of American aid to Somalia 4 was delayed in part because of State Department concerns about facing prosecution from Treasury for inadvertent capture or use of aid by al Shabaab U S law prohibits transactions with formally listed terrorist organizations even if its incidental or for the purpose of accessing civilians in need Click here 5 for more about the Legal Roadblocks to Aid Delivery in Somalia And while there has been some easing of restrictions by the U S 6 Treasury refuses to issue 7 a general license permitting all U S NGOs to offer relief to Somalis in need The shrinking space for humanitarians working in Somalia has been well documented 8 but less attention has been paid to the protection of civilians This is largely attributed to the desire among humanitarian groups especially the few remaining in areas under al Shabaab control not to draw unwanted attention toward their assistance activities In fact some humanitarian agencies have begun exploring quiet ways to engage on issues of civilian protection But the fear of politicization or of retribution from parties to the conflict according to the report prevents a coherent and active response by the sector This report

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/925 (2016-02-16)
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  • Deadly Combination: Disaster, Conflict and the U.S. Material Support Law | Charity & Security Network
    the safety of aid workers A new report from the Charity Security Network Deadly Combination Disaster Conflict and the U S Material Support Law considers two cases The 2011 famine in Somalia and the summer 2010 floods in Pakistan In both cases by giving priority to military objective the U S impaired effective aid delivery by humanitarian organizations exacerbating the hardship caused by disasters The current U S government response to disasters occurring alongside terrorist organizations is at best a wink and nod gesture that allows for limited access for humanitarian groups and no legal protections and at worst a blanket ban on any humanitarian operation 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

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/node/783 (2016-02-16)
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  • Paper: IHL and IHRL Work Together to Protect Rights of Civilians
    people caught in an armed conflict says a June 2012 paper published in the Electronic Journal of International Studies 2 REEI After World War II IHRL and IHL were initially treated as two distinct bodies of law applicable in different situations But Interactions between International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law for the protection of Economic Social and Cultural Rights 3 says human rights advocates need not rely on only one legal framework to protect the rights of civilians in trapped in harm s way There is no going back to a complete separation of the two the paper says as both IHL and IHRL constantly interact in a relation of synergy or norms These norms play a key role in how the legal provisions are understood and applied during armed conflict Examples of these implications include protecting socioeconomic rights of civilians such as education health food and property housing especially when war and occupation strike across the fabric of life of the entire population REEI is published by the Spanish Association of Professors of International Law and International Relations 4 Source URL http www charityandsecurity org studies IHL and IHRL Work Together Protect Rights Civilians Links 1 http

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/841 (2016-02-16)
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  • ODI: Negotiating Humanitarian Access
    engagement with armed non state actors 2 finds restrictions created by counterterrorism measures have been distinctly damaging to humanitarian action in places like Afghanistan Somalia and Pakistan 3 The report s authors call for increased support in facilitating productive humanitarian dialogue with ANSAs from donor states and the United Nations Engagement with ANSAs to establish effective humanitarian responses to conflict related needs has become increasingly important in many of today s conflicts Yet dialogue between humanitarian groups and ANSAs is often barred by counterterrorism laws with detrimental consequences for aid workers and those in need of their assistance Counter terror legislation and donor funding restrictions have discouraged if not criminalized engagement says the report by the Humanitarian Policy group at ODI This has undermined the perceived impartiality independence and effectiveness of humanitarian response Even so in places like South Kordofan in Sudan and al Shabaab controlled parts of Somalia humanitarian actors negotiate with ANSAs with varying degrees of sustainability and success The report says more work must be done to understand the role that the UN donors and other actors can play in providing political leadership and support for effective engagement Greater study is required in order to understand how

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/826 (2016-02-16)
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  • Report from UK-based ODI: Humanitarian Action Harmed by Anti-Terror Laws
    humanitarian organizations to scale down their presence in areas where a designated terrorist group operates leaving millions of people in need without basic necessities U S law prohibits any contact with a listed terrorist group 3 regardless of intent making distribution of food to civilians living in regions controlled by such groups nearly impossible The report finds U S legislation has had the most impact on humanitarian operations in particular the sanctions regime implemented by the Department of Treasury s Office of Foreign Assets Control OFAC and the material support statute While there has been only a small number of prosecutions of humanitarian actors for material support offences said the report the threat of criminal sanction will continue to undermine humanitarian operations at least until there is a greater clarity on the interpretation and application of the laws to humanitarian operations In places like Somalia where armed conflict and famine have left millions of people in need of life saving support the report found U S CTMs were responsible for a 50 percent drop in humanitarian funding between 2008 and 2011 For the aid groups that remain in Somalia many report the pre vetting checks and other risk management procedures required by OFAC regulations significantly delay their response time 4 and increase the risk to aid workers by making them appear to aligned with one side in the conflict The intrusive vetting of partners and beneficiaries is not exclusive to Somalia The United States Agency for International Development USAID wants to implement similar vetting procedures called the Partner Vetting System PVS for all of its grantees PVS has been widely criticized 5 by the U S NGO sector because it is costly ineffective and undermines the relations between humanitarian organizations and local communities USAID partner vetting requirements envisage collecting and

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/661 (2016-02-16)
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  • New Report: Opening Spaces for Civil Society Engagement to Prevent Violent Extremism | Charity & Security Network
    to violent extremism It includes cases studies from Colombia Kenya India and the Philippines and new material on the militarization of aid Read more 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

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/node/581 (2016-02-16)
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  • Inaction and Delayed Response to Famine Cost Thousands of Lives
    says a January 2012 report from Oxfam and Save the Children A Dangerous Delay 2 says the scale of death and suffering and the financial cost could have been reduced if warnings from 2010 had triggered an earlier more substantial response The report calls on governments donors the UN and NGOs to adopt different response strategies to future emergencies by managing the risks not the crisis This means orchestrating meaningful action partly based on information learned through early warning systems and tackling the root causes of vulnerability through long term development strategies Recommendations include 1 Manage the risks not the crisis All actors need to review their approach to drought risk reduction and not wait for certainty before responding All actors and early warning specialists need to develop a common approach to triggers for early action to be used by both humanitarian and development actors 2 Earlier drought response National governments should recognize their primary responsibility to meet food security needs providing political leadership for a drought response The international aid community should undertake preventative humanitarian work and assisting communities to prevent mitigate prepare and respond to crises ensure that systems are in place to integrate risk management into work

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/710 (2016-02-16)
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