Brot für die Welt

Insightful Quotes
"Risk assessments regarding measures fighting terrorist financing and its impact on NPOs is different depending on the context/country. A tailored approach is necessary, which should also include amongst others advocacy with local government but also on international level."
Insightful Quotes
"Awareness raising and enhancing expertise on the issue is necessary to provide NPOs with measures to comply with regulations but also to critically engage with government and other stakeholders."
Virtual Session 4

How Fighting Terrorism Can Harm Civil Society Peace Building and What We Can Do Against It

Non-profit organisations (NPOs) around the world face operational and legal restrictions due to counter-terrorism regulations. These are often justified by requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FAFT), which labelled NPOs as being “particularly vulnerable” to being used for financing terrorism up until 2016. This costs NGOS more in terms of time and money needed to look for solutions and causes delays in planned programming, lost windows of opportunity or even discontinued programmes.

Main Questions
  • How does the FATF work? How do antiterrorism measures linked to the FATF affect the NPO sector?

  • How can FATF regulations disrupt community-based peacebuilding programmes, e.g. in Pakistan?

  • What can civil society do to prevent negative effects?

Main Theses, Thoughts and Ideas

The issue is a very technical one, which needs to be put on the agenda at local, national as well as international levels and discussed with different stakeholders to raise more awareness and to call for needed expertise. NGOs should not hesitate to develop spaces for advocacy with government institutions and supranational regulatory bodies to look for common solutions.

The discussion underlined the important role of civil society peace building and their role in efforts to fight terrorism; NGOs can also actively reduce their own risks to terror finance and other financial crimes. It was also noted that the risk for a rise in terrorism increased, when civil society efforts are harmed or stopped. Another important result was that donor policies have a big impact and can contribute to the burden for civil society organisations. Donor policies therefore need to be reviewed with a do-no-harm approach in order to make sure that they strengthen and do not restrict civil society peacebuilding.


Karen Janjua
Community World Service Asia, Pakistan
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Thalia Malmberg
Human Security Collective, The Netherlands
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Christine Meissler
Brot für die Welt, Germany
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Current Topics

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The FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum is a series of events on current and overarching challenges and trends in peacebuilding. With the Peacebuilding Forum, we want to provide future-oriented impulses for the development of peacebuilding and strengthen the visibility and importance of the policy field in its entirety.


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