The World Humanist Congress scheduled to take place in São Paulo, Brazil in August has been cancelled.
In place of the Congress, IHEU is working in partnership with the British Humanist Association to organise a one day international conference on the global challenges of nationalism, populism, religious extremism and illiberalism and the need to defend and promote democracy and human rights in response.
The dates for the weekend remain unchanged from those previously advertised:
Friday 4 August: The General Assembly of our youth wing IHEYO
Saturday 5 August: The conference
Sunday 6 August: the IHEU General Assembly
In 1938 the conference of the World Union of Freethinkers was organised in London by Harold Blackham. Humanists from across the world came together to discuss the dangers that had arisen to threaten democracy, liberalism, and reason. Bertrand Russell, the Prime Minister of France, and many others spoke at the congress or helped to organise it, and representatives from all the organisations of the nineteenth and early twentieth century were present.
Just a few years later, the World Union of Freethinkers was gone, many of its member organisations rocked and destroyed before the twin onslaught of fascism and communism. In 1952 the same Harold Blackham who had organised its congress became the founding Secretary of a new global union for humanists: the International Humanist and Ethical Union.
In 2017 the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) is returning to London in the context of a world where the multiple forces of unreason and inhumanity – populism, religious extremism, nationalism, xenophobia – are stronger than they have been since that final Congress of the old World Union of Freethinkers.
Together with the British Humanist Association, IHEU is offering humanists from every country the chance to come together to explore these challenges, and discuss the best way to organise in the face of them in an effort to assert once again the humanist and universal values of democracy, human rights, the rule of law, liberalism, and internationalism.
We hope you’re as excited as we are by this timely event.
We’ll be announcing more details, the full programme, conference booking and GA registration, soon.