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  • Global NPO Response to FATF’s Call for Comments on Best Practices Paper Revisions | Charity & Security Network
    of the Charity Security Network which immediately released the document to the Working Group Without this agreement many of the 70 joint comment signatories would have been shut out of the process We remain concerned by the limited and indirect process of sharing the draft and the short time for response This undermines the FATF s commitment to outreach to the sector the recent comments state The joint comments were the result of a collaborative process between the Charity Security Network the European Centre for Not for Profit Law the European Foundation Centre the Human Security Collective and the International Center for Not for Profit Law Similar to written comments sent in December 2014 the recent joint comments emphasize that the BPP s primary purpose should be to provide guidance for governments and support outcomes that do not over regulate NPOs They ask that the BPP be cognizant that the overall risk of terrorist abuse of the NPO sector is very low both in numbers and geography This will improve the credibility of the paper as well as its validity among stakeholders the comments state adding that although safety will always be a concern when working in high risk environments NPOs must be able to take appropriate risks without fear of drastic enforcement measures Regarding the risk assessment the comments request that throughout the paper the BPP include more explicit statements that any further regulatory measures should be adopted only after a risk assessment is conducted existing measures are applied and assessed regarding their ability to manage and mitigate the risk identified and gaps are identified They add that if risk is low imposing further restrictions or regulatory burdens is not justified In addition the BPP should be more explicit that when mitigating risk actions and measures should relate only to identified risk and be evaluated against the principles of proportionality protection of legitimate NPO activities and international human rights and humanitarian law and be applied only to those NPOs at risk the comments state Finally the comments request that the BPP emphasize and ask for outreach discussions at every step of the process risk assessment mitigation mutual evaluation financial services and recommend specific good outreach practices NPOs have long been critical of FATF s Recommendation 8 R8 on laws relating to their work noting that it takes a one size fits all approach and can be misused by authoritarian countries to clamp down on the rights of NPOs FATF began to formally engage with NPOs including members of the working group in April 2013 and their input was incorporated into a June 2013 limited BPP update Since that time the Working Group has coordinated civil society input into the final update of the BPP This included an October 2014 meeting with FATF December 2014 written comments a February 2015 conference call and a formal meeting in Brussels in March The December 2014 comments were intended as a starting point for discussions between FATF and the NPO sector both before

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/NPO_Joint_Comments_on_FATF_Draft_BPP (2016-02-16)
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  • FATF Agrees to Formal Consultation Process | Charity & Security Network
    the sector Recently in May 2015 the Transnational Nonprofit Organization Working Group on FATF sent a letter urging the FATF to develop formal protocols for deliberation and engagement with the nonprofit sector This request was a follow up on the commitment made at a March consultation between NPOs and the FATF in Brussels The current process is ad hoc and limited in its reach to the global NPO sector the working group stated Subsequently key grantmaking organizations sent a follow up letter encouraging the FATF to formalzie their consultation methods with NPOs Given the vital contribution NPOs make to human security through humanitarian development human rights conflict transformation and good governance work a formal consultative process with clearly defined rules of engagement would benefit all concerned This is a critical issue for us because we believe that the interests of NPOs including foundations should be on an equal footing to the formal arrangements FATF has in place with the private sector key networks stated According to both letters these NPOs were willing to suggest detailed plans regarding the process for consultation and engagement They encouraged the FATF to develop a structure either as part of the private sector consultative forum or as a separate NPO consultative forum A formal consultative process with clearly defined rules of engagement that reflect openness transparency and free exchange of ideas on various aspects of FATF work would benefit all concerned they suggested The NPOs welcome FATF s new commitment and noted in a press release that clear rules of engagement should be drafted to ensure meaningful and inclusive participation of NPOs 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

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/NPOs_Ask_FATF_Consulatative_Process (2016-02-16)
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  • Improvements Needed in Upcoming FATF Evaluation of U.S. | Charity & Security Network
    the evaluation team with background information on U S counterterrorism laws the impacts on nonprofit organizations NPOs and how this compares to FATF standards It found that U S law fails to meet the FATF criteria of a risk based approach proportionality protection of legitimate NPOs and consistency with human rights and humanitarian law In a cover letter the groups asked that the FATF evaluation team meet with representatives of the NPO sector as part of the evaluation process The outcome of the report and the recommendations could provide an important opportunity for the U S to make its laws more civil society friendly Key findings include A Risk Based Approach to NPOs is Lacking Definition of Prohibited Material Support is Overly Broad Chilling Impact The Law Disrupts Rather Than Protects Legitimate NPOs Laws and Regulations Restricting NPOs Lack Proportionality Inconsistent with International Humanitarian Law IHL and International Human Rights Law IHRL NPO Access to Financial Services is a Growing Problem Outreach to NPOs Needs Improvement 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

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/Improvements_Needed_in_Upcoming_FATF_Evaluation_of_US (2016-02-16)
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  • FATF Best Practices Paper Revision is a Victory for NPO Sector | Charity & Security Network
    or measures may sufficiently address the terrorist finance TF risk to NPOs according to the paper which warns against overregulating the sector Detailed registration procedures for NPOs additional reporting requirements requirement of appointing a designated staff responsible for counter terrorism compliance and an external audit of the organization may not be appropriate for CFT purposes for those NPOs facing little to no TF risk the paper states Financial Access The revised BPP also addresses the difficulty NPOs have accessing financial services The BPP states that implementation of its recommendations should not adversely and disproportionately affect NPOs which rely on banking facilities and other financial services to carry out important humanitarian and charitable services The wholesale termination of individual customers or entire classes of customer without taking into account their level of risk or risk mitigation measures is not a proper implementation of a risk based approach and is not consistent with the FATF Standards the paper explains NPO Input Seventy NPOs from 28 countries submitted joint comments April 24 2015 on the draft BPP The comments stressed that the final Paper should guide governments on how to take a risk based and proportional approach to protecting NPOs from terrorist abuse Similar to written comments sent in December 2014 the April 2015 joint comments emphasized that the BPP s primary purpose should be to provide guidance for governments and support outcomes that do not over regulate NPOs They asked that the BPP be cognizant that the overall risk of terrorist abuse of the NPO sector is very low both in numbers and geography This will improve the credibility of the paper as well as its validity among stakeholders the comments stated adding that although safety will always be a concern when working in high risk environments NPOs must be able to

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/BPP_Revision_a_Victory (2016-02-16)
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  • The Financial Action Task Force and Human Rights | Charity & Security Network
    assembly and association Maina Kiai highlights concerns about laws and regulations that quash freedom of assembly and association around the world The report focuses on access to financial resources for civil society groups and the right to hold peaceful assemblies The report highlights the FATF s Recommendation 8 on nonprofits saying it fails to provide for specific measures to protect the civil society sector from undue restrictions to their right to freedom of association Kiai states civil society organizations play a significant role in combatting terrorism By their direct connections with the population and their prodigious work in inter alia poverty reduction peacebuilding humanitarian assistance human rights and social justice including in politically complex environments civil society plays a crucial role against the threat of terrorism A March 2013 report by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders says the increasingly widespread restrictions on the funding of non governmental organizations NGOs under the guise of counterterrorism efforts undermine the ability of civil society to promote and protect human rights The report says This worrying trend was notably confirmed by the Financial Action Task Force FATF recommendations on government anti terrorist financing regulation of nonprofits It cites potential vulnerability of diversion of charitable funds to terrorism but has no formal mechanism to caution states that regulation of NGOs must stay within the parameters of human rights law The report says The potential prejudicial character of this recommendation on the work of NGOs is aggravated by the fact that it is not accompanied by explicit guaranties of the right of NGOs to access funding Examples of Laws That Harm Civil Society Freedom of Association and Expression Citing the need to comply with FATF recommendations Azerbaijan Bangladesh Bahrain Egypt and Russia are among countries with limits on foreign donations and government control exerted over NPO operations using foreign funds These laws are inconsistent with the right of association international human rights law does not limit the right to associate only with one s fellow citizens but with all people The British Virgin Islands BVI r equire the annual registration of all nonprofit organizations Kiai notes that unregistered associations have protection under international human rights standards and are eligible to access funding He notes that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights makes no distinction between registered and unregistered associations Russia allows unprecedented control over independent NPOs It created an overly complicated registration procedure for NPOs and permits government officials to deny registration arbitrarily subjects NPOs to inspections and audits at any time and without limitation and liquidates NPOs unable to obtain registration In Paraguay Sri Lanka and Turkey f reedom of expression is endangered by a vague definition of terrorism and a narrow technical approach to anti terrorist financing laws The result could be that asset freezing and other sanctions could be imposed on NPOs or individuals for political reasons with the end result that FATF standards are implicated in human rights violations The Need for Proportionality Evidence Shows Civil

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/background/FATF_Human_Rights (2016-02-16)
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  • Summary: FATF's June 2015 Best Practices Paper | Charity & Security Network
    that any response is proportionate to the TF risk posed The BPP reminds countries that measures already established to mitigate risks from other illicit financial activity may sufficiently address the current TF risk to the sector while additional or different measures may need to be considered when existing measures are found inappropriate to mitigate the risk or as the TF risk to the sector evolves and changes over time Here the BPP again reminds countries that measures implemented need to be proportionate to the risks identified avoiding those that disproportionately burden NPOs with little or no TF risk because not all NPOs face high terrorist financing risks and many NPOs face little or no such risk the sector has an extremely large number of very diverse entities and a one size fits all approach is not effective in combatting terrorist abuse of NPOs and is more likely to disrupt or discourage legitimate charitable activities Examples of measures that may not be appropriate for NPOs facing little or no risk include detailed registration procedures additional reporting requirements requirement of appointing a designated staff person responsible for CT compliance and an external audit of the organization Outreach to the Sector The BPP reminds countries that they are required by Recommendation 8 to conduct outreach to the NPO sector on TF issues All stakeholders including governmental and non governmental actors law enforcement and NPO regulators can be involved in developing outreach and education about the specific risks facing the NPO sector and provide good examples of mitigation measures Ideally the outreach would be a two way ongoing dialogue between governments and NPOs Advantages of this approach include obtaining useful information about specific needs concerns vulnerabilities risks and challenges that can form the basis of more effective policies issues flagged can help countries prevent or disrupt high risk activities before they escalate more effective implementation of mitigation measures will give NPOs a better understanding of their risks and learning how to conduct more effective outreach and engage in more constructive dialogue with the sector Supervision or Monitoring of NPOs The Interpretive Note also requires countries to take steps to promote effective supervision or monitoring of the NPO sector The BPP warns countries against applying the same measures to all NPOs Instead countries may implement measures that are commensurate with the risk identified through a domestic review of the NPO sector and an understanding of the TF risks facing the sector Specifically countries should apply the measures set out in sub paragraphs 5 b i to 5 b vii of the Interpretive Note to Recommendation 8 to address the NPOs that both fall within FATF s definition of an NPO and face the greatest risk of TF abuse Measures that could be applied in these situations include requirements for an organization to be licensed or registered although countries are not required to impose specific licensing or registration requirements for CT financing purposes maintain information on their activities and those who own control or direct their activities issue annual financial statements have controls in place to ensure that funds are fully accounted for and spent in a manner consistent with the NPO s stated activities follow a know you beneficiaries and associate NPOs rule keep records and be subject to monitoring by the appropriate authorities There are several advantages to properly implementing these supervision and monitoring requirements the BPP notes including avoidance of over regulation on the sector the ability to change regulatory investigative or outreach response as NPOs change over time helping mitigate risks by leveraging off transparency good governance and or self regulatory initiatives already implemented by NPOs better allocation of limited supervisory resources by taking steps that are commensurate and adopting different approaches to supervision and monitoring based on a range of factors There is no single correct approach to ensuring effective oversight of the sector the BPP adds Effective Investigation and Information Gathering Countries should ensure effective cooperation coordination and information sharing to the extent possible between all relevant agencies and organizations They should have investigative expertise and the capability to examine those NPOs that are suspected of being exploited by or actively supporting terrorist organizations In addition all NPOs falling within the FATF definition and deemed to be at a higher risk of TF abuse should have available some financial and programmatic information in the event that an investigation into possible terrorist abuse becomes necessary Mechanisms for information sharing are important when a country suspects that a particular NPO is being abused by terrorists they should promptly share any relevant information with appropriate authorities so that preventive or investigative action can be taken While information provided by NPOs to government agencies is important in promoting transparency the use of national security or intelligence based information gathering is important in those specific cases where organizations rely on deception to mislead donors and other NPOs for terrorist financing purposes Information from criminal investigations can provide authorities with a better understanding and context of the TF risk environment surrounding NPOs In some cases administrative measures and targeted financial sanctions may be necessary to protect the NPO sector from abuse The paper explains that a collaborative inter agency approach to detection of abuse and risk can ensure that investigative actions by one agency don t conflict with or jeopardize actions by another group Effective Capacity to Respond to International Requests for Information about an NPO of Concern The BPP concludes this section by noting that countries should be ready for international requests for information regarding a suspect NPO by identifying appropriate points of contact and procedures to respond to these requests Actions NPOs Can Take To Protect Against TF Abuse This section of the paper was renamed in the current revision it was previously titled Best Practices for NPOs minimizing the possibility that it would be misunderstood as a checklist for governments in regulating the NPO sector The paper recognizes the NPO sector s efforts to promote transparency and to prevent the misuse of the

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/Summary_FATF_BPP_June_2015 (2016-02-16)
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  • Report: The Impact of FATF Recommendation 8 on Civil Society in Europe and Asia | Charity & Security Network
    environments for CSOs the report states These laws advance the hypothesis that non profit organisations are particularly vulnerable to abuse or exploitation by terrorist groups which leads states to enact strict laws to combat this threat The obvious danger in encouraging less democratic and repressive states to adopt new civil society laws and non profit regulations in the name of counter terrorism is that it encourages such regimes to adopt wide ranging laws that restrict the legitimate activities or political space of CSOs when transposing the requirements the report notes The report found that the mutual evaluations of R8 in the countries studied have had a significant impact Fifteen of the 17 countries examined for the report adopted legislative amendments to their NPO regulatory frameworks or proposed new legislation following or in anticipation of their evaluations The report concluded among other things that Recommendation 8 is a vehicle for NPO regulation evaluators are influence by lack of regulation rather than risk assessment and there is a restrictive impact on the political space of NPOs Of particular concern is the finding that where states did undertake a risk assessment and concluded that their NPO sectors face a minimal risk the evaluators still called upon those countries to introduce new NPO regulations In addition while R8 is supposed to be limited to a small subset of a country s nonprofit sector i e excluding small and informal organizations advocacy groups and many others in practice these states did not their regulation or supervision to this subset This overbroad regulatory approach has been of only minimal concern to the evaluators the report states The report recommends that FATF develop detailed guidance on how to safeguard civil society space and avoid unnecessary restrictions when enacting counterterrorism measures This guidance should clearly explain how states

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/Statewatch_Report_Aug_2015 (2016-02-16)
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  • Report: Repressive Regimes Use Anti-Terrorist Financing Measures to Suppress Civil Society | Charity & Security Network
    of civil society freedom to access and distribute financial resources for development conflict resolution and human rights work Paraguay for example was tagged by the FATF in the mid 2000s as being non compliant with FATF standards Its response was to pass the Anti Terrorist Law of 2010 which did not clearly define what constitutes terrorism and included acts such as dangerous interventions or obstacles on public roadways noise pollution and other actions which intimidate Paraguayan citizens With sentences up to 15 years for some offenses the law is widely seen as a mechanism to suppress protest and limit the capacity of nonprofits The report also links the FATF regime to the overly broad terrorist blacklisting and asset freezing regime used by the U S and UN an increase in government surveillance of nonprofits around the world and the prosecution of nonprofits for material support of terrorism The report soundly rejects the one size fits all approach to nonprofit regulation used by the FATF and calls for urgent reforms limiting the scope of FATF Special Recommendation VIII and clarifying its purpose and intent Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/studies/Anti-Terrorist_Financing_Measures_Suppress_Civil_Society (2016-02-16)
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