Issue Briefs2019-10-22T07:10:15-04:00

Negative Impacts of Sanctions on Civil Society

U.S. sanctions have created significant challenges for civil society organizations operating in sanctioned countries or in areas controlled by sanctioned groups. This issue brief offers an overview of the negative impacts of sanctions on civil society, as well as recommendations for addressing them. Read the brief here.

May 27th, 2021|

Nonprofits with USAID Funding May Be Vulnerable to Federal Lawsuits

In the spring of 2018, the Charity & Security Network learned of several lawsuits filed in U.S. courts against nonprofit organizations (NPOs) that receive USAID funding. Using a law meant to combat fraud against the federal government by providing incentives for private citizens to act as whistleblowers (the False Claims Act), as of May 2020 the Zionist Advocacy Center (TZAC) has alleged that four groups violated the anti-terrorist certification

June 3rd, 2020|

Islamophobic Groups Attacking Humanitarian, Peacebuilding Groups and Human Rights Defenders

Click here for a printable PDF of this fact sheet In recent years, two U.S. organizations have conducted smear campaigns against charities and human rights groups that appear intended to shut down or limit humanitarian assistance, peacebuilding and human rights advocacy by or on behalf of Muslim communities. They target groups working in places with large Muslim populations, including Palestine and south Asia. Their work has been used to fuel

February 20th, 2020|

Financial Services Deplatforming Hurts Aid, Peacebuilding

Increasingly, financial service companies and online payment platforms are bowing to pressure from outside groups to “deplatform” or cancel the accounts of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) and human rights defenders working in global hot spots. This affects humanitarian aid, peacebuilding, development and human rights programs. Organizations with a self-professed political agenda are manufacturing and using disinformation to pressure financial service companies and payment platforms to end their relationships with these

August 19th, 2019|

The Prohibition on Material Support and Its Impacts on Nonprofits

Click here for a printable PDF of this Issue Brief The U.S. counterterrorism framework impedes the work of legitimate nonprofit organizations (NPOs) in two ways: first, it prohibits anyone from engaging in a wide range of broadly defined activities that involve listed terrorist organizations, regardless of the purpose or intent behind such engagement. Violating “material support” laws can result in criminal prosecution, extensive jail time and fines. Second, it

August 8th, 2019|

False Claim Act Lawsuits: What Nonprofits Need to Know

Please click here for a printable PDF of this Issue Brief. What is the False Claims Act and why is it an Issue? The False Claims Act (FCA) is a U.S. law that imposes liability on individuals, companies and organizations that knowingly defraud government programs. Private parties, called “relators,” can bring these suits on behalf of the government. Recent lawsuits claim that some nonprofit organizations (NPOs) receiving USAID

November 1st, 2018|

Regulation of Nonprofit Organizations in the U.S. – An Overview

Click here for a printable PDF of this Issue Brief.    Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) in the United States are subject to a complex system of regulation and oversight that combines registration, reporting and monitoring at the federal, state and local levels. These regulatory regimes mostly revolve around raising, spending and accounting for funds, protecting the public from fraud, and encouraging charitable contributions. The First Amendment protections for freedom of association,

November 21st, 2017|

Financial Access and Derisking: Moving Toward Solutions for Nonprofit Organizations

Please click here for a printable PDF of this Issue Brief In recent years, access to financial services has become increasingly difficult for nonprofit organizations (NPOs) that must conduct international financial transactions in order to operate overseas, often in places where their work is needed most. Financial institutions may delay, or refuse to make, transfers between organizations. Sometimes, NPOs are turned away as customers or have their accounts closed.

October 1st, 2017|

USAID’s Partner Vetting System

Click here for a printable PDF version of this Issue Brief. The Partner Vetting System (PVS) is a pilot program created to vet individuals in nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and for-profit entities that apply for United States Agency for International Development (USAID) contracts and grants, to ensure that USAID-funded activities are not inadvertently providing support to entities associated with terrorism. Under the PVS pilot program, the U.S. government requires many grant applicants

February 16th, 2016|

Impact on Women: Counterterrorism Laws and Policies Restricting Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Work

A new C&SN Issue Brief examines the impact on women of counterterrorism laws and policies restricting peacebuilding and humanitarian work. It looks at the disproportionate effect that armed conflict has on women, shines a light on the role women are taking in these global hot spots to improve their lives and their communities, and explains how empowering legislation would allow U.S. humanitarian and peacebuilding groups to partner with these

August 19th, 2015|

Barriers to Cross-Border Nonprofit Operations and The Role of the Financial Action Task Force

Nonprofit organizations – humanitarian, peacebuilding, grantmaking, human rights and more – struggle against daunting obstacles in conflict zones where need is great and risk is high.  Increasingly their work is undermined by counterterror bureaucracies that impose unnecessary restrictions on operations. Some restrictive laws are deliberate attempts to suppress political opposition and others are excessive restrictions that do not take into account the ways in which the work of nonprofits could

May 27th, 2015|

The Financial Action Task Force and Human Rights

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental body that sets anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering standards that it uses to assess the adequacy of laws and regulations in nearly every country in the world. Since 9/11 it has increased its focus on regulation of financial services and charities. A PDF of this Factsheet is Available Here.  A 2012 report by Statewatch and the Transnational Institute showed that the FATF’s

October 16th, 2013|

Need to Update Treasury’s Terrorist Listing and Delisting Procedures

The U.S. terrorist listing process is designed to cut off funding to terrorists by freezing their funds and banning financial transactions with them. The President designates terrorist groups by Executive Order and authorizes the Treasury Department to list others that support them.   A lack of clear standards, transparency and oversight of the list  has raised serious concerns over the due process rights of those listed and the accuracy of the list itself. Click

April 26th, 2013|

Examples: Impacts of the Material Support Prohibition on Peacebuilding

For many years, U.S. organizations have paved the way for peace by helping to bring fighting factions together and providing alternatives to violence as a means of redressing grievances.   Unfortunately, the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project (HLP) upheld the law defining prohibited “material support” of terrorism to include conflict prevention and resolution activities aimed at getting terrorist groups to lay down their arms. Without

June 13th, 2011|

Peacbuilding Fact Sheet

“It is no longer enough to just provide peacekeepers; that must be accompanied by effective mediation, peacemaking and peacebuilding.” -U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton before the United Nations on Sept. 23, 2010. A printable PDF version of the peacebuilding Fact Sheet (October 2010) is available here. What is peacebuilding? Peacebuilding includes efforts related to preventing outbreaks of violence, transforming armed conflicts, finding peaceful ways to

October 1st, 2010|
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