In the wake of allegations from the government of connections between charities and terrorism, The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has set up the first advisory group on terrorism and the voluntary sector.
The group has been set up to help safeguard the good reputation of all charities in the face of attempts to deal with the actions of a handful of organisations, and to help ensure that all action taken by government is based on solid evidence.
Terrorist groups have reportedly used charities in several countries as fronts for fundraising. The Charity Commission, however, reported earlier this year that “connections between registered charities in England and Wales and terrorist organisations are rare.”
Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of NCVO said: “So far, much of government’s work on the ‘terrorist abuse of charities’ seems to have been carried out in a vacuum, with little consultation with the voluntary sector We want to ensure that charities’ voices are heard in these discussions, and that all measures are proportionate and based on evidence of that misuse.”
Lord Plant will chair the advisory group which will discuss how it can work with the sector’s regulator, The Charity Commission, which publishes operational ./guidance for charities on how it handle
cases where it suspects a terrorist organisation is involved.
The advisory group will produce a report which will set out its findings and respond publicly to the Home Office/Treasury report, expected at the end of 2006.
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