If you only read one thing this week…

What do Counter Terrorism Measures Mean for NGOs? by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
November 8, 2007, 6:29 pm
Filed under: governance, If you have 30 mins

INTRAC – the International NGO Training and Research Center based in the UK – has been conducting research into the effects of Counter Terrorism Measures  (CTMs) on the way in which aid agencies work. They have published findings from a series of workshops and a great paper entitled, “Assessing the Implications of CTMs for NGOs“. Having heard so much about CTMs from the US perspective, it was refreshing to read a global perspective on CTMs that includes the current issues in Europe.  The easy-to-read paper talks about some of the challenges NGOs are facing and cites a chilling example a British charity that was designated as a terrorist organisation by the US Government. The Charity Commission found no evidence of any illegal activity. However, the British government has still not interceded with the USG to clear their name.

The NGOs that are most suffering from CTMs are smaller international organizations that cannot afford to put all the checking measures in place, and NGOs in the south who are also unable to comply. The paper also finds that NGOs are averse to speaking out against some of these measures because they are afraid of possible retribution and reduced funding in the future. In the US they have found that retalitory action has been taken against, “government grantees that have engaged in controversial policy discussions or active advocacy that includes points of view different from the administration’s” http://www.intrac.org/pages/CTM_analysis.html

This is a chilling paper, but is worth the read to understand some of the far-reaching ramifications of CTMs that we may not as NGOs be considering as we hasten to make sure that we ourselves are in compliance.


2 Comments so far
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Nice post. Another perfect example of how anti-terrorist legislature can undermine anything and everything.

Comment by Michael Bell

The met is full of self-promoting, commercially-inclined ‘experts’ and ‘think-tanks’ exploiting fears about terrorism. We need more critiques like this of the impact of counterterrorism measures and hysteria on civil society’s ability to do what it does best – helping the marginalised.

Comment by Tim Morris

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