Protecting non-profit organisations from criminals and terrorists

Updates to the law aimed at protecting the work done by charities and other non-profit organisations (or NPOs) were passed unanimously by the States Assembly this week (w/c 25 April 2022).

For those NPOs operating in Jersey alone, the impact should be minimal, but people who work in the third sector should be aware of the issue.

Sadly, all organisations are potentially vulnerable to exploitation by criminals or terrorists, including NPOs, and the Ukraine conflict is the latest global tragedy that has seen some take advantage of people’s generosity by establishing fake charities or diverting donations given in good faith.

A recent assessment of Jersey’s non-profit organisations to determine the risk they face of being abused or misused for terrorist financing concluded that, while overall Jersey’s non-profit sector presents medium to low risk, around 11% have a heightened risk and greater vulnerability.

Registration and review

Over the next six months there will be a review of the NPOs who operate in Jersey to gain a greater understanding of the type of work they do. No changes will come into force until this has been done, and for those NPOs operating in Jersey alone, any impact should be minimal; they simply fill out a registration form.

NPOs who work in higher risk areas of the world may need help to avoid being compromised by terrorists or other criminal organisations, and this help will be provided to them.

The ultimate aim, as reflected in internationally accepted standards, is to protect the sector while minimising impact on the work they do.

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