Review of safeguards to protect the charitable sector from terrorist abuse

Review of safeguards to protect the charitable sector from terrorist abuse

A British NGO perspective on potential anti-terrorism measures for the voluntary sector

This submission to the UK Home Office by the British Overseas NGOs for Development (BOND) responds to potential anti-terrorism legislation affecting the voluntary sector. The report makes recommendations on how to protect the voluntary sector from terrorist abuses and from potentially harmful anti-terrorist legislation.

The report states that British NGOs are at the forefront of building bridges between Britain and other parts of the world. It argues that any anti-terrorist intervention that compromises the depth or breadth of the work of the NGO sector needs to be considered against its impact on British NGOs’ beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries.

The report recommends that the UK government:

  • place greater emphasis on the positive value of the voluntary sector in building bridging social capital between countries and communities, and hence in winning hearts and minds
  • communicate unambiguously that the number of incidents of terrorist abuse of charities is very small in relation to the size of the sector, and avoid casting suspicion on the whole sector or on certain groups of charities
  • lobby vocally for the removal of organisations not proscribed in the UK from other governments’ lists of proscribed organisations, where no evidence has been disclosed in public or in private to support the proscription.
  • atate clearly that dealing with organisations proscribed in the US but not the UK is an entirely acceptable course of action for UK organisations
  • ensure that funding is available for the international charitable sector to compile and promote best practice

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