4 July, 2024

Most human beings who have ever lived (and many human beings alive today) have had no say in how they are ruled or by whom. You and I do. Let’s make sure we use that power today!

As representatives from 120 humanist organisations around the world collectively affirmed at the most recent World Humanist Congress, democracy is a universal fundamental value that is essential to the realisation of humanist principles worldwide.

Read the Copenhagen Declaration on Democracy, affirmed in 2023.

In the run-up to the election, Humanists UK has been lobbying political parties about humanist issues, encouraging you to write to your candidates (you can still do this now if you haven’t already!), and providing resources to lobby the parties in your local areas.

Below are just some of the issues we’ve been campaigning on – and we’ll need lots and lots of help from members and supporters if we advance these causes and more with the next government after the final vote has been counted.

Just as important as voting yourself is this: please remind your friends and family to vote, too!

It’s a sign of health in our democracy if people recognise that their individual vote, while rarely ever decisive on its own, nevertheless matters. If you use Twitter/X, please also consider posting to your followers about it.

Democracy must be defended

As I said to supporters in an email just after the election was called, this could be the most transformative election for us in many decades – with a record number of MPs stepping down, and a massive intake of new, younger, and less religious MPs expected to take office for the first time. 

As we look across the channel to France or the Atlantic to the United States, we can see challenges to democratic values and norms from all sides. Personally I am reminded again of what we as a global humanist movement affirmed in 2023:

‘Democracy as a culture must be actively defended against all threats, including those from regimes, movements, and political parties that embrace authoritarian principles, from those with unaccountable economic and social power, and from all other forces that seek to undermine democratic values and institutions.‘

Democracy as a way of thinking about and solving human problems requires active cultivation, respect, and vigilance against outside threats. 

It is a testament to our species that, despite its inherent fragility, and acknowledging the challenges that it faces in the 21st century, democracy on the whole has managed to prosper in the last 2,000 years. But for one final thought experiment: just think how much worse the world would be without it. Democracies have enabled our species to resolve conflicts; to make scientific and cultural advances; to raise living standards; to expand human rights, freedom, and concern for the most vulnerable on our planet, including non-human animals.

Ultimately, democracy has helped us make human progress. 

Thank you for being a part of that story – both today in voting, and through your support for Humanists UK and our campaigns.

‘The destiny of human rights is
in the hands of all our citizens
in all our communities.’

Eleanor Roosevelt


For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at or phone 020 7324 3072 or 07534 248 596.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by over 120,000 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.