Bar Association of Belize Raises Concerns Over Non-Profit Organization Bill and Questions its Practical Need

Bar Association of Belize Raises Concerns Over Non-Profit Organization Bill and Questions its Practical Need

As the Senate was debating the Non-Profit Organization Bill, the Bar Association of Belize since issued a 16-page document with a general overview of the NPO Bill 2023, including concerns over its contents.  According to the Bar, and we quote, “The practical need for the Bill must be questioned because there has not in the history of Belize ever been an allegation made against any NPO of the complicity in any money laundering or terrorist financing nor has there been any financial failure of NPOs giving rise to any need for the State to manage charitable activities. There is no empirical evidence that the risks that the Bill seeks to address (money laundering, terrorist financing and mismanagement of resources by NPOS in Belize) in fact exist in Belize any at all, much less to the degree required to justify legislative action abrogating the constitutional rights of charitable organizations in Belize. The abrogation of fundamental constitutional rights to privacy and to property must bear some relationship to and be proportionate with the threat sought to be addressed by the abrogation if the abrogation is to be regarded as reasonable. The Financial Action Task Force itself recognizes this position.”  End of quote.  Our newsroom will have more on this Bill in subsequent newscasts

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