The Charity Commission of England and Wales has released its revised Counter-terrorism Strategy recently. It also has links to a number of helpful UK guidances on how charities should operate to avoid involvement with terrorism. Many of the same principles apply here in Canada and Canadian charities may find reviewing the strategy and UK guidance helpful.
“Our Counter-terrorism work
Charities, like other types of organisation, can be vulnerable to criminal and terrorist abuse. Our experience is that proven instances of terrorist involvement or association in the charitable sector are low in comparison to the size of the sector. However, any such abuse is completely unacceptable and corrodes public confidence in charities. Charities therefore need to ensure they are not at risk.
The Commission’s Counter-terrorism Strategy which is also in summary form explains our role and approach for dealing with concerns about the abuse of charities for terrorist purposes and its strategy for tackling the risk of terrorist abuse in the charitable sector.
We have updated the strategy to refresh it to take into account the findings of the government’s Review of Prevent. However, the strategy still has a four strand approach to protecting charities from the risk of terrorist abuse:
Awareness: raising awareness in the sector to build on charities’ existing safeguards
Oversight: proactive monitoring of the sector, analysing trends and profiling risks and vulnerabilities
Co-operation: strengthening partnerships with government regulators and enforcement agencies nationally and internationally
Intervention: dealing effectively and robustly when abuse, or the risk of abuse, is apparent “
Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?
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.