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  • Charity & Security Network
    Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Date July 17 2013 Although the five year civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC the largest country in sub Saharan Africa officially ended in 2003 renewed fighting by armed groups in the eastern part of the country has led to a new wave of refugees fleeing from danger It is estimated that almost 2 6 million people are internally displaced and another 500 000 have fled into neighboring states CSN has compliled in depth background information about that country s conflict listed terrorist groups and the barriers for humanitarian groups trying to delivery critically urgent aid to civilians See CSN s overview of the Conflict the Humanitarian Situation in the DRC See also Problems with Humanitarian Access Persist in Syria Somalia The 2011 Famine and its Response Negotiating for Aid Delivery in Mali Read more about Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Date July 17 2013 Although the five year civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC the largest country in sub Saharan Africa officially ended in 2003 renewed fighting by armed groups in the eastern part of the country has led to a new wave of refugees fleeing from danger It is estimated that almost 2 6 million people are internally displaced and another 500 000 have fled into neighboring states CSN has compliled in depth background information about that country s conflict listed terrorist groups and the barriers for humanitarian groups trying to delivery critically urgent aid to civilians See CSN s overview of the Conflict the Humanitarian Situation in the DRC See also Problems with Humanitarian Access Persist in Syria Somalia The 2011 Famine and its Response Negotiating for Aid Delivery in Mali Read more about Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Somalia The 2011 Famine and its Response Date July 10 2013 July 2013 Somalia Background Before the first government to be internationally recognized in two decades came into power in early 2013 Somalia had been a country without an effective government since the collapse of the Siad Barre regime in 1991 Since then two decades of conflict severe weather and the lack of basic services and infrastructure have contributed to major food shortages for almost half of the country s ten million people Amidst the rampant insecurity and shortages humanitarian efforts were further complicated by U S restrictions that prohibited aid delivery to the nearly two million civilians living in areas of the country controlled by al Shabaab a militant group that operates in southern Somalia during the 2011 famine Read more about Somalia The 2011 Famine and its Response Problems with Humanitarian Access Persist in Syria Date July 10 2013 July 2013 Syria Background Since the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011 a mostly peaceful mass street protest has transformed into a destructive and deadly civil war pitting the Free Syrian Army FSA against the Alawite dominated

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/Humanitarian%20Access?type=All&page=4 (2016-02-16)
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  • Charity & Security Network
    to concerns of violating U S law See Somalia Crisis Timeline Read more about Congress Must Investigate Restrictions on Humanitarian Assistance During Somali Famine Access Barriers Mean Aid Trickling into Syrian Opposition Controlled Territory Date April 12 2013 Syrians living in opposition controlled areas continue to bear the brunt of the violence and have received a fraction of the assistance they need according to aid groups working in the region Security constraints and lack of access to much of the northern and central parts of the country have hampered aid delivery and only a handful of international aid groups many working covertly and at great risk reach these areas On April 5 2013 the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC warned that the absence of humanitarian assistance could have catastrophic consequences for the people of Syria for years to come The two year conflict has displaced nearly four million Syrians across the country and forced over a million more into crowded refugee camps in neighboring states Read more about Access Barriers Mean Aid Trickling into Syrian Opposition Controlled Territory Somalia Sanctions Extended Leaves Humanitarian Restrictions in Place Date April 10 2013 On April 4 2013 President Obama sent notice to Congress that he is continuing Executive Order EO 13536 which declared an emergency with respect to Somalia in April 2010 and designated al Shabaab as a terrorist organization The notice said continuation is necessary despite U S Read more about Somalia Sanctions Extended Leaves Humanitarian Restrictions in Place Senate and House Hearings Examine Response to Humanitarian Crisis in Syria Date March 25 2013 Two years after the start of the uprising in Syria hearings in both houses of Congress in March 2013 examined the effectiveness and challenges for organizations assisting Syrians affected by the crisis Speakers at both hearings including representatives of the State Department the United States Agency for International Development USAID and the United Nations provided on the ground assessments and described the complex and dangerous environment in which aid organizations work It is estimated that more than 2 5 million Syrians are displaced inside the country and another 1 million refugees have fled into neighboring states to avoid the violence Topics covered included problems getting access to those in need branding aid and its impact on safety and the influence of extremists in the Syrian opposition Read more about Senate and House Hearings Examine Response to Humanitarian Crisis in Syria New ODI Report on Protecting Civilians Date September 11 2012 In countries like Syria Afghanistan and Somalia civilians continue to bear the brunt of conflict and violence The protection of civilians has long been the goal of humanitarian actors but in recent years it has become increasingly complicated by the competing objectives of international militaries While many recognize that complementary protection strategies are necessary interaction at strategic and operational levels face numerous challenges A new report from the Overseas Development Institute ODI considers the risks and challenges involved and explains why increased interaction is essential to

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/Humanitarian%20Access?type=All&page=5 (2016-02-16)
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  • Charity & Security Network
    May 16 2012 Several regions of Africa face significant man made and natural disasters that are complicated by armed conflict and the presence of terrorist organizations According to UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres several humanitarian crises coupled with the global economic downturn has created a nightmare scenario across the large continent Regions like the Sahel and Horn of Africa have been confronted with severe food insecurity while areas such as Sudan and Somalia have also faced violent armed conflicts In some cases aid agencies are hampered by overly broad U S laws that make it a crime for charities to negotiate access to vulnerable civilians living on territory controlled by a terrorist organization This has resulted in diminished aid to Somalia during the peak of its famine in 2011 Without changes in legal rules for U S charities the same problem could arise again in large portions of Africa in the summer of 2012 Read more about Crises in Africa Showcase Complexity of Humanitarian Access in Conflict Zones Brookings Event Focuses on Barriers to Access During Humanitarian Crisis Date February 28 2011 On Feb 15 2011 the Brookings Institution held a discussion Access During Humanitarian Crises Barriers to Protection and Assistance Read more about Brookings Event Focuses on Barriers to Access During Humanitarian Crisis IN DEPTH UK Somalia Conference Weak on Humanitarian Focus NGOs Host Own Meetings Date March 5 2012 Author Suraj K Sazawal A conference about Somalia held in London on Feb 23 2012 was supposed to set a new approach on issues like governance and humanitarian aid but most analysts said military action rather than negotiating for peace remains the primary strategy Sponsored by the United Kingdom s Foreign Office it was attended by over 40 world leaders including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton British Prime Minister David Cameron and UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon Humanitarian aid issues were relegated to side meetings that aimed to meet the needs of the Somali people by de politicizing the international response Read more about IN DEPTH UK Somalia Conference Weak on Humanitarian Focus NGOs Host Own Meetings Report 10 Ways the International Community Can Address Somalia s Humanitarian Crisis Date March 2 2012 A January 2012 report compiled by Islamic Relief Worldwide the Organization on Islamic Cooperation The Humanitarian Forum and the Turkish Red Crescent gives concrete recommendations to the international community to better address the crisis in Somalia The report tells the stories of four families living in the Korsan camp near Mogadishu and places them in a wider context of the complex aid environment of Somalia Read more about Report 10 Ways the International Community Can Address Somalia s Humanitarian Crisis Telebriefing The Ongoing Crisis in Somalia Submitted by suraj on Tue 2012 02 14 15 53 Date February 14 2012 Despite the UN officially declaring an end to famine in Somalia a severe humanitarian crisis remains Over two million Somalis are still in need of emergency rations many of them young children On

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/Humanitarian%20Access?type=All&page=6 (2016-02-16)
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  • Charity & Security Network
    to Civilians Key To Ending Crisis Date October 5 2011 There is a reason Shabaab does not want large scale food aid and mass vaccinations in its area of control it fears the public mobilization that that entails and fears losing even more control says a September 2011 policy paper on resolving the crisis in Somalia Read more about Improving Access to Civilians Key To Ending Crisis Improving Access to Civilians Key To Ending Crisis Date October 5 2011 There is a reason Shabaab does not want large scale food aid and mass vaccinations in its area of control it fears the public mobilization that that entails and fears losing even more control says a September 2011 policy paper on resolving the crisis in Somalia Read more about Improving Access to Civilians Key To Ending Crisis Senate Hearing Examines How Aid Delivery to Somalia Hampered by U S Law Date September 15 2011 The U S should do more to expedite humanitarian aid to the two million people trapped in southern Somalia said speakers at a Senate hearing on Aug 3 2011 Witnesses told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa that famine conditions in Somalia will continue and that restrictions on aid need reformed to allow aid delivery during times of crisis The hearing Responding to Drought and Famine in the Horn of Africa was held on the same day the State Department said USAID grantees and not independent aid groups who do not receive funding from USAID would likely not face sanctions for working in southern Somalia The Department of Justice has not made any public comments about the new policy Read more about Senate Hearing Examines How Aid Delivery to Somalia Hampered by U S Law Sens Kerry and Coons Seek Expedited Aid Delivery in Somalia Date September 14 2011 On Aug 8 2011 Sen John Kerry D MA chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Sen Chris Coons D DE chair of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs issued a joint statement urging the Obama Administration to expand and expedite the delivery of humanitarian aid into Somalia Read more about Sens Kerry and Coons Seek Expedited Aid Delivery in Somalia U S Senators Call For Reforming Laws that Impede Humanitarian Assistance in Somalia Date September 12 2011 As of September 2011 the number of Somalis in need of humanitarian assistance has increased from 2 4 million to 4 million in the past eight months with 3 million of them in the country s south according to UN Food and Agriculture Organization U S law makes it difficult to delivery assistance to civilians living or trapped where a designated terorrist group operates Read more about U S Senators Call For Reforming Laws that Impede Humanitarian Assistance in Somalia U S Anti Terror Laws Still Holding Up Aid in Somalia Date August 26 2011 Aid workers responding to the massive famine in Somalia say that U S counterterrorism rules are still impeding the delivery

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/Humanitarian%20Access?type=All&page=7 (2016-02-16)
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  • Charity & Security Network
    Operating Standards for Humanitarian Responders 2011 Sphere Handbook Offers Expanded Operating Standards for Humanitarian Responders Date April 15 2011 As part of a global effort to improve the quality of humanitarian response to populations affected by disaster and armed conflict the 2011 edition of the Sphere Handbook was released on April 14 2011 The handbook describes the fundamental principles that govern humanitarian action during these times and offers best practices for all phases of humanitarian assistance The 2011 edition includes a special focus on Protection Principles which consider the protection a Read more about 2011 Sphere Handbook Offers Expanded Operating Standards for Humanitarian Responders UN Report Security Measures that Restrict Humanitarian Access Hurt Vulnerable Civilians Date March 30 2011 Any government s undermining of humanitarian principles presents more than merely theoretical or legal problems it creates practical impediments to access acceptance and security for humanitarian operations says a February 2011 report from the United Nation s Office for the Coordination Read more about UN Report Security Measures that Restrict Humanitarian Access Hurt Vulnerable Civilians Pages first previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/Humanitarian%20Access?type=All&page=8 (2016-02-16)
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  • Charity and Security Network Principles to Guide New Policies | Charity & Security Network
    and development programs should put the humanitarian imperative first be nondiscriminatory and free to target vulnerable populations such as children and the disabled and promote community development The efforts of peacebuilding and mediation programs contribute to a peaceful world and should be legal especially when they seek to turn terrorist organizations away from violence Human rights and security laws are complementary and not in competition with each other Security policies and rules applicable to nonprofits should be transparent fair and proportionate An action including donating to a charity or partnering with another organization that is legal at the time it is taken should never become illegal after the fact Nonprofits and their donors should not be targeted for investigation or sanctions based on their religious or political beliefs To be guilty of the crime for supporting terrorism a person or organization must intend to support its illegal and violent activities Nonprofit organizations are independent of government Security policies and rules should not seek to use them as instruments of foreign policy 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

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/solutions/CSN_Principles (2016-02-16)
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  • Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project: Addressing the Impact of Material Support Laws on Peacebuilding Programs | Charity & Security Network
    from scientific of technical knowledge HLP opposed Supreme Court review but also filed a cross petition asking that the court consider all contested terms if it accepts that case In September 2009 the Supreme Court announcement granted that request and consolidated the cases On Tuesday Feb 23 2010 the Supreme Court heard oral arguments to determine whether several key terms in the definition of prohibited material support of terrorism violate the First and Fifth amendments The case marked the first ever challenge to the Patriot Act at the Supreme Court level and addressed the overbroad scope of the prohibition on material support to listed terrorist organizations which effectively criminalizes peacebuilding programs of U S organizations in conflict zones around the world Plaintiffs are comprised of six organizations a retired federal administrative law judge and a surgeon They filed suit in 1998 when they wished to provide human rights and conflict resolution training to the Kurdistan Workers Party PKK and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE both designated foreign terrorist organizations by the U S HLP postponed the training pending the outcome of the case fearing criminal prosecution Represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights CCR HLP argued that the material support statute violated their First and Fifth Amendment rights In a Nov 17 2009 press release David Cole an attorney representing HLP said This statute is so sweeping that it treats human rights advocates as criminal terrorists and threatens them with 15 years in prison for advocating nonviolent means to resolve disputes In our view the First Amendment does not permit the government to make advocating human rights or other lawful peaceable activity a crime simply because it is done for the benefit of or in conjunction with a group the Secretary of State has blacklisted DOJ argues in their brief that the current definition of material support is a vital part of the nation s efforts to fight international terrorism Its petition to the Supreme Court said the law has been used in 120 prosecutions since 2001 resulting in 60 convictions However HLP s brief said the government has made no showing that the limited injunction at issue here undermines its efforts to fight terrorism in any meaningful way Nor has it cited a single prosecution that was or would have been frustrated by the court of appeals narrow as applied ruling The Ninth Circuit ruling was limited to the HLP and the facts of its case as is the Supreme Court case Although a decision requiring more specific definitions would greatly benefit many charitable operations which can be constrained by uncertainty over what the law does or does not allow the case will not result in a humanitarian exemption to the law That issue is not before the court Congress however is in a position to address it The Ninth Circuit s decision reaffirmed that Congress attempts to adjust the statute have failed to do fix the constitutional problems In a January 2009 press release Shayana Kadidal

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/litigation/HLP (2016-02-16)
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  • Humanitarian Assistance and Peacebuilding Protection Act (HAPPA) Would Remove Barriers to Charity and Peacebuilding | Charity & Security Network
    misfortune of living in areas where terrorist groups operate It would also curb legal limits on faith based and peacebuilding efforts seeking to end or prevent armed conflict before it requires expensive military or humanitarian interventions As witnessed in Somalia from 2010 to 2012 nearly 260 000 people half of them under the age of five died from a famine that was predicted months in advance These deaths were largely preventable had aid organizations been permitted to provide humanitarian services in areas controlled by al Shabaab a designated terrorist organization without fears of violating U S law If passed HAPPA would tackle the harmful effects from these measures that specifically delay and block humanitarian aid and peacebuilding activities HAPPA is based on proposed legislation in 2013 the Humanitarian Assistance Facilitation Act HAFA which did not pass There are no legal differences between HAPPA and HAFA The Findings section of the bill and title were adjusted to better reflect the need for peacebuilding in conflict ridden areas Read more about the 2013 HAFA bill Specifically the 2015 HAPPA would amend the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act including the Material Support Statute to allow aid groups to engage in speech or communication with a terrorist organization to prevent or alleviate the suffering of a civilian population It would clarify that the President does not have the authority to restrict transactions with a foreign person that is subject to sanctions when the transactions facilitate the donation or provision of humanitarian goods and services It also would create an Advisory Council on U S policy at the direction of the Secretary of State related to non governmental activities in areas affected by certain sanctioned foreign persons At the same time HAPPA would prevent bad faith actors

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