Humanists UK trains hundreds of Home Office asylum staff

2 July, 2019

Humanists UK has completed a series of training sessions with Home Office staff responsible for assessing asylum claims on how to identify non-religious claimants, on the persecution of non-religious people around the globe, and on the particular issues that apostates face when they enter the asylum system. 

Over the course of two months, Humanists UK staff delivered extensive training at asylum centres up and down the country, alongside representatives of various religious groups. Humanists International staff also delivered a training session.

These sessions were part of a new compulsory course on assessing asylum claims made on the basis of religion or belief, which all existing staff working on asylum claims are meant to have undergone by the end of June, and will become part of the induction of all new staff.

Humanists UK campaigned for the introduction of this training course and helped to write it and associated materials in conjunction with the Home Office and the All Party Parliamentary Group on International Freedom of Religion or Belief.

Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson commented, ‘We are pleased to have played a leading role in the roll-out of this new training. We believe that it will have a lasting impact on the knowledge and understanding of those making decisions on asylum claims of the particular issues that face non-religious people and apostates who are forced to flee their countries of origin due to persecution. It will ensure that the standards of assessments are improved, leading to a fairer, more accountable asylum system.’


For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK press manager Casey-Ann Seaniger at or phone 020 7324 3078 or 07393 344293.

Read more about our work on the ‘Save Hamza’ campaign here:

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by over 85,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.