‘By advancing the humanist approach to life, we inspire and support non‑religious people to be happy, confident, and ethical, and we work with them for a better society.’
Advancing humanism. Inspiring and supporting the non-religious. Working together for a better society.
Our 2025 strategy is the foundation for everything we do as a charity: from campaigns to advance freedom of thought, expression, and choice… right through to our education work about humanism, and our services to help non-religious people lead happier, more confident, and more ethical lives.
A proud tradition of humanist activism
When this organisation first began, over 125 years ago, it was the creation of a small band of Victorian activists who spoke up for humanist values, pioneered humanist ceremonies, and championed the rights of vulnerable groups in society at a time when humanist attitudes and opinions were controversial. Today their ideas and values are now not only mainstream, but have transformed society for the better.
The world today is different. In recent years, the proportion of the population identifying with no religion has risen above 50%. On top of that, 24% of the population (nearly half of the non-religious) share humanist values. And 7% of the population are not only non-religious, but already call themselves ‘humanists’. This is the modern context for our work, and it informs how we set about improving understanding of the humanist approach to life.
Our new strategy also sees greater targeted investment in our campaigns and services, helping to put humanist values into practice, including through support for some of the most vulnerable in our community. As well as focusing on the growth of Humanist Ceremonies and Humanist Care, which support people at some of life’s major turning points, we’ll be working to connect ever larger numbers of people with support around life’s small hurdles as well, drawing on the deep resources provided by humanist philosophy and humanistic psychology.
Freedom of thought, choice, and expression
We want to see a tolerant world where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Far too many people in the UK and the world are still constrained in their freedom and their choices by religion, tradition, discrimination, or outmoded laws.
How we create change
Through the courts
We work with humanist claimants to champion human rights, challenging discriminatory laws and policies.
We engage elected representatives
and public officials, encouraging leaders to act in the interests of fairness and on the basis of evidence.
Through public opinion
We publish hard-hitting reports exploring our issues, and champion the humanist view of society through mainstream and social media.
We have a mandate from our members and supporters to advocate for real social and political change, defending freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief; freedom of expression; and freedom of choice. These principles form the basis for our policy platform and have helped us to select core campaigns where we can expect to have the biggest impact.