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  • Report: Restrictions on NGO Funding Hamper Work of Human Rights Defenders | Charity & Security Network
    under human rights law including specific international protections for freedom of association and expression The detailed case studies document how these rights have been undermined through laws framed as NGO regulations It notes that Rather than simply ban an NGO considered hostile to the regime and thus risk incurring a high political cost many States multiply obstacles to block access to funding especially from external sources In so doing they draw on a sophisticated arsenal of restrictive legal administrative or practical measures that are less visible than other forms of human rights abuses and therefore are less likely to incite international condemnation According to the report the popularity of vague laws governing the material support to terrorist activities and financing of terrorism has grown over the past decade and allows for the inclusion of activities unrelated to terrorism such as the promotion and defense of human rights Under the demands of these restrictive measures which often do not comply with international human rights norms NGOs face a hostile environment that includes burdensome administrative hurdles smear campaigns and criminal charges Since 2001 in particular a large number of human rights defenders in numerous countries have been subjected to unwarranted criminal proceedings the report finds for allegedly belonging to or supporting a terrorist organization regardless of whether or not they were involved in or provided support for terrorist acts The report notes that This worrying trend was notably confirmed by the Financial Action Task Force FATF recommendations on government anti terrorist financing regulation of nonprofits which notes 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

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/studies/Restrictions_NGO_Funding_Hamper_Work (2016-02-16)
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  • DOJ Inspector General Report on FBI’s Anti-Terrorist Financing Efforts | Charity & Security Network
    designations against legal challenges it says The DOJ along with the Departments of State and Treasury work with the federal intelligence community to closely review a detailed administrative record that documents the terrorist activity of the proposed designee to ensure that the record supports adequately the factual findings required by the applicable authority and to assess litigation risk in the event a designation subsequently is challenged by the designated entity emphasis added and The DOJ and the Departments of State and Treasury work together to revise the administrative record to ensure that the case for designation is legally sufficient and can withstand judicial challenge emphasis added Terrorist Financing Working Group TFWG On page 37 of the IG s audit it says The FBI also participates in the Terrorist Financing Working Group led by the Department of State which coordinates government efforts to identify prioritize assess and assist countries whose financial systems are vulnerable to terrorist exploitation According to an October 2005 Government Accountability Office GAO report the TFWG convened in October 2001 to develop and provide counter terrorism finance training to countries deemed most vulnerable to terrorist financing Chaired by State the TFWG also includes the departments of Treasury Justice and Homeland Security and representatives from the United States Agency for International Development USAID and financial regulators It meets on a bi weekly basis to receive intelligence briefings schedule assessment trips review assessment reports and discuss the development and implementation of technical assistance and training programs the GAO report says While specific information about the Terrorist Financing Working Group s activities is largely unavailable CSN has searched the public record and shared below what it found According to Paul Simons former Deputy Assistant Secretary at State s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs the TFWG helps promote the

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/node/998 (2016-02-16)
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  • HSPI: The Future of Terrorism Finance | Charity & Security Network
    organizations and individuals involved in illicit activity are quite comfortable using the modern financial system the report said Given the volume of legitimate transfers that go through these systems on a daily basis finding the illicit activity is often like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack Add to this rapid technological change associated with delivery of financial services such as mobile phone transfers prepaid debit cards and the growth of online transactions and it is not hard to see why terrorists use these means R egulatory practices exist to monitor these activities but financial institutions and government authorities are often overwhelmed by the data streams the report said The frontiers of finance also pose unique challenges to counter threat finance In many instances products and markets are introduced before proper safeguards are established to deny illicit use For example the newly developed carbon trading exchange aimed at promoting environmental conservation was defrauded of millions It is speculated that some may have gone to fund terrorism the report said More commonly considered methods of activity such as the use of hawallahs are not as high risk as once presumed There is little evidence that terrorists striking the U S homeland with the possible exception of the Time Square bomber Faisal Shahzad have made significant use of the hawallah system to fund attacks the report said The report was written by Scott Helfstein a HSPI Senior Fellow and Director of Research at the Combating Terrorism Center of the United States Military Academy 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

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/studies/%20HSPI_Future_of_Terrorism_Finance (2016-02-16)
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  • USAID IG Report Highlights Protection Payment Problem Facing Development Programs in Conflict Areas | Charity & Security Network
    and equipment The subcontractors allegedly billed the cost to DAI which then charged USAID for payment The report estimates 5 2 million of USAID funds may have fallen into the hands of insurgents The report found DAI had failed to anticipate or properly address the risk that USAID funds could be funneled to the Taliban Part of this failure was the widespread lack of legitimate monitoring on project spending and progress by USAID and DAI officials The report found Most USAID officials and DAI personnel we interviewed believed that neither USAID nor DAI could provide reasonable assurance of preventing USAID funds from going to the Taliban or others in exchange for protection while trying to implement community development projects in a war zone and in insurgency stronghold areas where little or no monitoring can be conducted Despite suspending or cancelling 27 projects in 2009 because of security concerns the report said DAI continued to support projects in unstable remote areas where payments for protection were almost mandatory and monitoring nonexistent DAI also did not permit any visits from USG officials to their office in Jalalabad City because of concerns the office would become a target for insurgent attacks The report recommended USAID conduct risk assessments to determine if proposed development project areas are secure enough to allow civilian implementation and monitoring but it did not identify specific criteria or standards DIA s Boomgard also echoed what many in the humanitarian aid and development sector have said about the complexities of providing urgent assistance to people living in areas controlled by a terrorist group The question for our critics and for anyone serious about executing U S policy in Afghanistan is whether it would be worth giving up on all such projects just because we cannot provide assurance to an auditor

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/USAID_IG_Report_Highlights_Protection_Payment%20_Problem_Facing_development_Programs_Conflict_Areas (2016-02-16)
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  • Report: Muslim Charities and the War on Terror 2006 | Charity & Security Network
    unfair process and make the war on terror most effective See Muslim Charities and the War on Terror Top Ten Concerns and Status Update addressing these concerns 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

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/studies/Muslim_Charities_Caught_in_Crosshairs%20 (2016-02-16)
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  • Study Examines Anti-Diversion Policies of Humanitarian Organizations | Charity & Security Network
    principles The authors found that over the last five to ten years donors have in their anti diversion discussions and requirements focused disproportionately on anti terrorism financing despite the view from most organizations in study that had stronger concerns about other forms of diversion than about anti terrorism financing The focus on ATF and other forms of anti diversion has brought with it a growth in the complexity scope and number of anti diversion regulations and enforcement bodies Particularly in the U S and U K there has been a promulgation of laws and regulations that require humanitarian organizations and other individuals and entities operating abroad to undertake steps to curb corruption bribery money laundering fraud and terrorism financing The increased complexity in law and regulation has led to administrative burdens for many organizations Most organizations interviewed in the study indicated that they now spend more money and time on anti diversion practices Every organization had at least one staff member and many had multiple full time staff members dedicated to anti diversion policies and practices For instance the requirement for many organizations to screen staff partners and sometimes ultimate beneficiaries against the numerous lists of designated entities required a significant amount of time and resources from most organizations The authors also note that organizations are increasingly adopting and being expected to adopt risk based programming frameworks Basing programmatic decisions on risk has some analysts concerned as they argue that the humanitarian imperative to provide aid based on need alone should be the primary concern in program development Such approaches could be particularly impactful in areas deemed high risk which are often also the locations of the worst humanitarian crises One key theme that emerged from humanitarians interviewed was the need for the sector to become more visible Many raised

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/studies/Anti_Diversion_Policy_Study (2016-02-16)
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  • Oxfam: Terror Financing Fears Hurting Remittances to Somalia (Again) | Charity & Security Network
    among the most worrisome of the possible and foreseeable catastrophes that could befall Somalia An estimated 600 000 to 800 000 Somalis living in the diaspora send home about 1 3 billion a year to support their relatives Increasingly however they are finding it harder to do so because banks in the U S and in the United Kingdom are curbing banking services to Somali money transfer organizations MTOs because of fears that funds might end up in the hands of terrorists Almost all major U S banks have stopped offering money transfer services to Somalia and Somalis in the UK are experiencing similar problems after Barclays bank announced it too would be suspending its services in August 2013 But these banks according to the report appear to be acting out of general aversion to risk rather than to any specific concerns regarding their compliance practices One Somali MTO official interviewed by Oxfam said that none of the 40 account closure and rejection letters he had received from a bank mentioned any wrongdoing on the part of his company U S banks have responded in a manner disproportionate to the level of risk involved and have failed to distinguish among Somali American MTOs treating companies that are meticulous in their policies and practices in the same way that they treat those that take a less rigorous approach the report said Other key findings from the report 51 percent of remittances recipients are women A large majority of remittance recipients are employed particularly in such professions as teaching and entrepreneurship Remittances account for 60 percent of their average annual incomes of 3 000 and Somali money transfer companies are a critical link in the remittance chain Western companies and banks have little or no presence Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/studies/oxfam_Somalia-Remittances (2016-02-16)
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  • Threats to Civil Society on Rise says CIVICUS' 2013 Report | Charity & Security Network
    of anti terror finance measures on nonprofits the 500 page report identifies how the vice is tightening on human rights defenders around the world Many regimes employ standard forms of repression from activists imprisonment and organizational harassment to outright violence But in other states these techniques are supplanted by more sophisticated measures the report says These include legal or quasi legal obstacles such as barriers to entry to discourage or prevent the formation of organizations and severe limits on foreign funding sources to restrict organizations ability to secure the resources required to carry out their missions Overly broad laws and regulations designed to criminalize support for terrorist organizations have also impaired the work of charities and other nonprofits Since 9 11 Hayes says an intricate and largely opaque framework for countering the financing of terrorism CFT has been created and disseminated by the U S the United Nations and multilateral bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force with far reaching and negative effects on civil society groups Many of these impacts were documented in a February 2012 report produced jointly by Statewatch and the Transnational Institute that found countries face intense pressure to introduce CFT regulations that threaten civil society space This pressure Hayes writes in the CIVICUS report has led to a culture of suspicion in which links between charities and terrorist organizations have been exaggerated while measures to protect freedom of association and expression have been disregarded Hayes writes that the spreading of these regulations to countries where civil society organizations already face scrutiny and suspicion could trigger more problems than they solve He warns that they could provide repressive governments with new tools for surveillance and control and encourage people and money to move underground This effectively undermines the entire counter terrorism rationale and raises fresh

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/studies/CIVICUS_2013_state_of_civilsociety (2016-02-16)
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