For international NGOs and local civil society actors and communities, engaging with armed groups for peaceful ends carries immediate risks to physical security and to reputation, given the political sensitivities of the task. Likewise running peacebuilding programmes in conflict contexts where armed groups operate is complex and high-risk. If the group is on a terrorist list then these risks only multiply.
This briefing paper sets out some of the risks facing this sector in relation to working with listed armed groups or in contexts where they operate, as well as the direct and indirect impact of terrorist listing on organisations and their work. It puts forward ways to help mitigate the negative effects and ensure peaceful ways to end violent conflict can operate unhindered.
A sector-wide issue:
NGOs across the humanitarian and development field are facing similar challenges, depending on the nature and location of their work. In November 2015 the International Law Programme at Chatham House, supported by Conciliation Resources and Charity Finance group, organised a high-level roundtable discussion on the impact of the UK’s counterterrorism legislation on NGO operations in the humanitarian, peacebuilding and development fields. Read the meeting report here.