The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) is pleased to announce that its humanist family now includes more than 150 Member Organizations all over the world. There are now 153 IHEU Member Organizations in 56 countries.
66 years of growth
On 10 February the Board of the IHEU gathered in Brussels at the headquarters of Demens.nu, one of the two Belgian Member Organizations of the IHEU. During the meeting, the Board of the IHEU approved 5 new Member Organizations, taking the total to 153 Member Organizations which can be seen on this live map on our website.
The IHEU is a democratic organization. Representatives from Member Organizations join together for an annual General Assembly to discuss policy, decide on resolutions and elect the Board. All new IHEU Member Organizations are ratified by existing members at the General Assembly. Our General Assembly this year will be held in Auckland, New Zealand, from the 3 to the 6 August.
As shown in the graph (right), we have come a long way from the group of five founding members back in 1952. “And recently we are receiving new membership applications from organizations almost on a weekly basis,” says Giovanni Gaetani, IHEU Growth and Development Officer.
Doubled presence in Latin America in 2017
2017 was a crucial year for the growth of the humanist movement in Latin America. Our Growth and Development plan focused on Latin America as its priority region for the year, and the effects of this regional focus are clear. In just 12 months the IHEU has doubled its membership in Latin America, rising from 7 to 14 Member Organizations, in 9 countries or territories: Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname.
The most recent Latin American organization to join the IHEU is Mexican Humanists, who recently relaunched its activity being inspired and encouraged by the work of Guatemalan Humanists and by the launch of the Freedom of Thought Report 2017.
The future of the IHEU
Gary McLelland, Chief Executive of the IHEU, commented:
“It is incredible to see how fast and wide the global humanist movement has grown recently, especially in those areas of the world where the IHEU has been under-represented for long time. In Latin America, Africa, and Asia we are seeing an increasing interest in the humanist worldview, and a higher awareness of the importance of secularism as a common political principle.
“The milestone of 150 Member Organizations is a huge achievement for us, and one that we invite all humanists around the world to celebrate with us. This is even more amazing if you consider how relatively small our resources are. Indeed, it is only one year ago that the IHEU has expanded to four full-time staff!
“This growth is a sign that we are moving in the right direction. But we need to increase the momentum. That’s why I again ask all our members and supporters to give what they can to help support this amazing growth.”
If you want to support the growth of the global humanist movement, please consider making a donation to the IHEU.