On June 30, the Charity & Security Network issued a joint-statement with 22 civil society organizations calling for further legal protections to be provided to peacebuilders working around the world.
The statement comes at the 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project court ruling, which effectively expanded the criminal prohibition on providing material support to terrorism to include many peacebuilding activities.
The 2010 ruling held that it is constitutional for Congress to bar training or expert advice that encourage listed terrorist groups to seek peaceful means of addressing grievances under the legal prohibition on providing material support to terrorism. Now civil society organizations are calling for a new legal framework that protects and empowers sustainable and effective peacebuilding which includes all sides of conflict and recognizes that reducing violence “requires rehabilitating and reintegrating former members of terrorist groups, including women and children associated with them.”
In their joint-statement, the organizations declare that “Historic moments like the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland and the end of apartheid in South Africa would not have been possible without engaging the Irish Republican Army or the African National Congress, both listed terrorist organizations at the time.”
The Charity & Security Network’s press release on the statement states, “Policies that allow for dialogue with listed organizations would support the progress made by the Global Fragility Act passed in late 2019 in addressing the root causes of conflict.”