Kenya terrorist attack and reminder from the Charity Commission about being careful about terrorism

September 28, 2013 | By: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Mark Blumberg
Topics: News, What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA, Canadian Charity Law, Global Giving, Ethics and Canadian Charities, Avoiding 'Charity' Scams

The Charity Commission of England and Wales has reminded UK charities who provide humanitarian assistance in certain areas of the importance of avoiding terrorist activity.  “Charities working in conflict zones or in regions where it is known that terrorist organisations operate need to manage risks to the security of staff, funds and aid materials. This is particularly so at the moment for charities working to provide humanitarian aid in Syria and surrounding countries and in parts of Africa.”  The Chair of the Commission notes: “The misuse of charitable funds for terrorist purposes is a despicable perversion of everything charity stands for, and a betrayal of those working to deliver humanitarian aid and the public whose donations fund it.”  For Canadian charities who want to operate outside of Canada and who are concerned about the potential of terrorism should review CRA’s Checklist on terrorism.  Furthermore, any Canadian charity operating outside of Canada should implement the necessary measures of control as outlined in CRA guidance dealing with foreign activities.

The Charity Commission notes:
http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/news/reminder-for-charities-working-in-areas-where-terrorist-groups-operate-270913/
“Reminder for charities working in areas where terrorist groups operate

27 September 2013

Following recent events in Nairobi, the Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has issued a regulatory alert to charities providing humanitarian aid in areas where terrorist and militant groups operate.

The Commission is reminding charities to make sure they are aware of the risks that their funds may be diverted for terrorist purposes and of their duty to report any suspicions to the police.

The events in Nairobi in September 2013 remind us all about the risks posed by terrorist groups and the risks that terrorist groups pose to society.

Charities working in conflict zones or in regions where it is known that terrorist organisations operate need to manage risks to the security of staff, funds and aid materials. This is particularly so at the moment for charities working to provide humanitarian aid in Syria and surrounding countries and in parts of Africa.

William Shawcross, Chairman of the Charity Commission, said:

“The misuse of charitable funds for terrorist purposes is a despicable perversion of everything charity stands for, and a betrayal of those working to deliver humanitarian aid and the public whose donations fund it. Tackling any such abuse is a top priority for the Charity Commission and one to which I am personally very committed.

“The terrible events in Nairobi remind us once again of the threat that terrorist groups pose to civil society. Charities providing humanitarian aid in areas where terrorist groups operate must be alert to the risks and mindful of their duties.”

The alert to charities is available on the Charity Commission’s website.

Ends”

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Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.

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