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What is Humanism?
Our Members

Imagine if all the major humanist and secular organizations came together in one “united nations” of humanism.

Well, it already exists! That’s us: the International Humanist and Ethical Union, or IHEU.

We’ve been around since 1952. But in recent years we’ve grown faster and worked more effectively than ever before, putting the humanist policy agenda front and center on the international stage.

Here’s just five of our very recent “wins” at the IHEU…


Over 150 humanist and secular groups, including probably all the biggest humanist organizations, are Members of the IHEU. Through our new Growth & Development programme we’re finding and supporting organizations in previously under-represented parts of the world. In 2017 we more than doubled the number of IHEU Member Organizations in Latin America. In 2018 our priority region is Africa where we will work to repeat and build on this success.


Our Café Humaniste series brings humanists together to discuss questions of interest and concern to humanists, sparking new friendships, new ideas, and new inspiration for the humanist movement. The events are organized by the IHEU in collaboration with local Member Organizations in countries all over the world.


The Freedom of Thought Report is our annual review of discrimination and persecution against humanists, atheists and the non-religious globally. We get the Report seen and cited by UN bodies and appointed experts (the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief even wrote the foreword to a recent edition). The Report influences the debate and gets humanists and the non-religious considered in international human rights discourse.


As often the only non-religious or humanist NGO (Non-Government Organization) in the room at the UN, we insist that future plans uphold commitments to end ‘blasphemy’ laws; that the right to freedom of religion or belief includes the non-religious; and thanks in part to our influence the recent Fez Plan of Action focuses on how some religious leaders are responsible for inciting hatred and violence and how others must take a stand to dispute and counter prejudice. This work has a concrete impact on how the UN is able to talk about human rights, setting precedents that will be reflected in the language used by UN experts and special committees and ultimately in international treatise and international law for years to come. It is essential that humanists are there to check, balance and uphold human rights principles.


UN resolution on “traditional family” values and “the protection of the family” are a badly-disguised attempt to overturn individual human rights, especially those of sexual minorities, women, young people and older people. We believe real “family values” must always respect and uphold the individual’s autonomy, dignity, and rights! In 2017 we coordinated a statement joined by 15 NGOs reminding States that such resolutions “aim to subvert the universality of international human rights” and that in fact families are diverse entities not homogeneous ‘traditional’ structures.

Let’s get together

Did you know you can join IHEU as an Individual Supporter?

Join the IHEU as an Individual Supporter today and you will:

  • receive our monthly newsletter and other special campaign updates
  • receive advance notice of forthcoming events and activities
  • have the right to attend as an observer our annual General Assembly, the governing body participated in by our Member Organizations from all over the world

People like you join the IHEU because they believe in the work we do, to:

  • Help new Humanist groups to establish themselves anywhere in the world
  • Represent the global humanist movement at the United Nations and other international institutions, where we raise issues of concern to humanists globally
  • Campaign on specific cases of persecution and causes of concern to humanists
  • Produce our renowned Freedom of Thought Report, measuring and analysing discrimination against humanists in every country of the world
  • Support individual humanists at risk, who are facing persecution, and often in physical danger
  • Organize events that bring humanists together from different parts of the world, to network, share information and support each other.

Thank you again for your support. Without it, all the good work we are making for the growth of Humanism worldwide wouldn’t be possible.

I value the vision and the work of the IHEU and I will join today as an Individual Supporter

If you are already a Supporter you can Renew your subscription for 2018.

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