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Sir Colin Blakemore (1944-2022)

It is with deep sadness that we learned of the death of our patron, the eminent neurobiologist and humanist campaigner Sir Colin Blakemore. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon in June 1944, Sir Colin’s love of science was first kindled after winning a place at the King Henry VIII grammar school in Coventry, where he went on to […]

Humanists call for end to Rwanda deportation policy

At their Annual General Meeting in Belfast today, members of Humanists UK adopted a call for the policy of deporting asylum claimants to Rwanda to be brought to an end, calling the policy ‘dehumanising and immoral’. Their call has been welcomed by Humanists UK patron and leading child refugee campaigner Alf Dubs, who said that […]

Convention in Belfast shows positive impact of humanist activism

Hundreds of humanists from across the UK converged in Belfast this weekend for Humanists UK’s first in-person Convention in three years.  As well as being a chance to connect with like-minded people, discuss and debate ideas, and explore the many ways humanists are campaigning for a better society and helping non-religious people to lead happier, […]

Women’s rights shattered as US Supreme Court overturns right to abortion

Today, the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade – the 50 year-old ruling which made access to abortion a constitutional right in the United States. By a margin of six to three, the Supreme Court judges removed this right, instead allowing individual states to regulate abortion access. 26 states are expected to shortly […]

Remembering Baroness Greengross

Humanists UK is saddened to hear of the death of Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, member of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) and crossbench peer. Baroness Greengross was elected as an independent member of the House of Lords in 2002 and co-chaired several All-Party Parliamentary Groups focussed primarily on older life care. As a committed […]

Illegal schools: Lords tell Government to strengthen plans

Amendments to the Schools Bill were debated in the House of Lords last night that would improve the UK Government’s plans to tackle illegal schools. Humanists UK has led the campaign for many years to close down such ‘schools’ in England, many of which are religiously extreme in nature with little to no secular education […]

Landmark Bill published to bring humanism into RE

A new bill has been published that proposes to make explicit that religious education (RE) in England must be fully inclusive of non-religious worldviews such as humanism. It also proposes to rename the subject to ‘religion and worldviews’. The Education (Non-religious Philosophical Convictions) Bill is sponsored by Liberal Democrat Peer Baroness Burt of Solihull, who […]

UK Government ignores UN advice on collective worship yet again

The UK, Welsh, and Northern Ireland Governments have refused to act upon United Nations human rights recommendations, by stating they have no plans to reform the archaic collective worship laws. The latest refusal came as part of the UK’s Response to the UN Committee’s List of Issues on the Rights of the Child. Humanists UK […]

Humanist Heritage launches self-led walking tour in Belfast

Ahead of the Humanists UK Convention in Belfast, Humanists UK and Northern Ireland Humanists are excited to announce the launch of a Humanist Heritage walk in collaboration with walking app Go Jauntly – this time exploring humanist history in Belfast. Belfast is a city with a long, rich, and deep humanist heritage, spanning Enlightenment freethinkers, […]

Rights Removal Bill to scrap protections for the non-religious

Today, the UK Government has introduced a new Bill to Parliament that will undermine the Human Rights Act 1998, including by removing vital protections for non-religious people. The so-called ‘Bill of Rights’ – dubbed by its critics as, in fact, a Rights Removal Bill – will roll back a number of provisions within the Act […]

UK must protect all ‘conversion therapy’ victims, Humanists and Ozanne tell UN

At the UN Human Rights Council, Humanists UK and the Ozanne Foundation have raised the need for the UK protect all ‘conversion therapy’ victims. The call was made via a joint intervention to a debate with the UN’s Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Humanists UK […]

Action needed to protect non-religious Afghans, Humanist UK tells UN

Humanists UK asked the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights what actions are being taken to ensure that Afghan resettlement programmes are inclusive of non-religious refugees following the Taliban takeover last year. It further asked what mechanisms have been put in place so these refugees can be safely identified by the UN High Commission for […]

Discussing 61 years of humanist activism: interview with David Pollock

David Pollock is our former trustee and a former President of the European Humanist Federation. In 2011, Humanists International gave David the Distinguished Services to Humanism Award. We caught up with David recently to discuss his journey into humanism, our campaigns, and his long and accomplished career. Hi David! How did you first discover the […]

Government blocks inclusive RE and assemblies during Schools Bill debate

Amendments to the Government’s Schools Bill that would reform religious education, replace compulsory collective worship with inclusive assemblies, and end religious discrimination for teachers, were debated in the House of Lords on Monday night. Humanists UK has long called for changes to the law in these areas, and worked with members and supporters of the […]

Cineworld bans ‘blasphemous’ film

The Cineworld chain of cinemas has announced it has pulled all screenings of The Lady of Heaven following protests from Muslim groups claiming that the film contains ‘blasphemous’ content. Cineworld stated that this decision was made ‘to ensure the safety of [its] staff and customers.’ Humanists UK, which led the successful campaign to repeal the […]

The nature of morality: interview with Dr Oliver Scott Curry

What is morality? Where did it come from? And how do humanists today approach these age-old questions? To explore the science of morality, we caught up with our Darwin Day Medallist, Dr Oliver Scott Curry, following our latest event ‘The Nature of Morality’, to talk about his research on the nature, content, and structure of […]

Alice Roberts hands Humanists UK Presidency to Adam Rutherford

Adam Rutherford has taken office as the new President of Humanists UK. The acclaimed geneticist, science writer, broadcaster, and humanist, succeeds Professor Alice Roberts. Alice, like her predecessors as President, now becomes a Vice President. Adam has been a high-profile ambassador and patron of Humanists UK for many years, advocating especially for robust science education […]

Isle of Man introduces Assisted Dying Bill

Dr Alex Allinson MHK introduced an Assisted Dying Private Members’ Bill in the Isle of Man on Tuesday. Members of the island’s Parliament voted 22 to 2 for the Bill to be introduced. Humanists UK welcomes this Bill, which will see the Isle of Man follow Jersey and Scotland in exploring, debating, and voting on […]

New officers elected by All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group

The All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) has elected SNP member Tommy Sheppard MP as its new Chair. Labour peer Baroness Bakewell remains as Co-Chair while Conservative MP Aaron Bell, was elected as the Group’s new Secretary. The APPHG is a cross-party group of Members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords of […]

Dr Henry Marsh addresses Parliamentary Humanists on assisted dying

Dr Henry Marsh addressed the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) yesterday to outline why he supports legal assisted dying. Dr Marsh is a renowned neurosurgeon and bestselling author of Do No Harm. Last year he was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, with a prognosis of between one and five years.  The Group also heard from […]

House of Lords supports landmark plans to shut down illegal faith schools

The Schools Bill, which contains long-awaited measures to tackle illegal schools, was debated for the first time in the House of Lords on Monday. The debate took place during the Bill’s Second Reading – the stage at which the broad principles of a bill are discussed. Humanists UK, which has long campaigned against illegal religious […]

New Bill proposes to make religious education fully inclusive of humanism

A new Bill that proposes to make explicit that religious education must be fully inclusive of non-religious worldviews such as humanism will be considered in the UK Parliament, after being drawn 22nd in the House of Lords Private Members’ Bill ballot yesterday. The Education (Non-religious Philosophical Convictions) Bill was tabled by All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group […]

Two landmark education acts in Northern Ireland gain royal assent

Two landmark pieces of legislation that have the potential to make a real difference to education in Northern Ireland have now received royal assent. The Integrated Education Act and the Fair Employment (School Teachers) Act were both championed by Northern Ireland Humanists during their passage through the Stormont Assembly. The new laws will end the […]

Government tackles illegal schools but doubles down on collective worship and faith schools

Yesterday the Government published its Schools Bill, which contains significant implications for the influence of religion in schools. Humanists UK welcomes its measures to tackle illegal schools, having campaigned hard on this issue for over eight years. But it is concerned the Bill also has provisions codifying the rules on academies with a religious character. […]

Non-religious face discrimination in prisons – new research

Non-religious people are being discriminated against in prisons in the provision of chaplaincy and pastoral care services, new research has found. The research, published in the International Journal of Law in Context, found a hierarchy of access in which the benefits of such services are more available to some prisoners than others. Dr Katie Hunt, […]

Queen’s Speech: Assisted dying and inclusive assemblies bills fall

Baroness Meacher’s Assisted Dying Bill and Baroness Burt’s Inclusive Assemblies Bill have both fallen. This has happened because any private members’ bills that are still outstanding on the day of a Queen’s Speech have their progress halted. Humanists UK has expressed its dismay at the outcome. The Assisted Dying Bill related to England and Wales, […]

Bill to weaken the Human Rights Act announced in Queen’s Speech

The UK Government has confirmed its intention to bring forward a new ‘Bill of Rights’ in today’s Queen’s Speech. The Bill will reform the Human Rights Act 1998 by making it harder for ordinary people to bring legal challenges when their rights have been violated. And it may have a specifically bad impact on freedom […]

UK Government must ‘protect and expand carbon sinks’ says Humanist Climate Action

Humanist Climate Action has told the UK Government it must do more to protect and encourage the expansion of ‘carbon sinks’ such as rainforests, mangroves, peatland, and permafrost to prevent the devastating effects of climate change. Its call was made in response to a consultation by the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs on […]

Little Book of Humanism sent to every UK prison

Humanists UK has sent a copy of The Little Book of Humanism to every prison library in the UK to address the current imbalance in resources available to non-religious prisoners. Many of those inside UK prisons will hold a humanist worldview and while services and resources are often made available for prisoners with religious beliefs, […]

Government to announce illegal schools bill in Queen’s speech

The Government has confirmed that a Bill to shut down illegal ‘unregistered’ schools will be included in tomorrow’s Queen’s speech, marking a major victory for Humanists UK’s long running campaign. The forthcoming Schools Bill will strengthen the definitions around such settings, give Ofsted more powers to crack down on unregistered schools, and establish a compulsory […]

Success! Government announces how it will shut illegal schools

The UK Government has finally set out how it will take action to close the loopholes that allow illegal faith schools to operate in England. The much-anticipated proposals have been published today in the Government’s response to the Regulating independent educational institutions consultation. Humanists UK, and over 100 individual humanists, responded to the consultation in […]

Where do the Northern Ireland parties stand on humanist issues?

Today Northern Ireland Humanists has published a table giving an overview of their views on issues of concern to their members and supporters, ahead of the upcoming Northern Ireland Assembly election. Northern Ireland Humanists put 7 questions to the various parties last month, and has produced the tables by drawing on these responses, the parties’ […]

Humanists UK celebrates 126th anniversary with ‘History of Humanism in 100 Objects’

Today Humanists UK launched its ‘History of Humanism in 100 Objects’ series, telling the story of the people, places, ideas, and ideals which have shaped the organised humanist movement in the UK. From the original ‘happy human’ sketch, to Bertrand Russell’s teapot, to a model of the USS Enterprise, Humanists UK will be shining a […]

Teachers strike at faith school over gay author ban

Teachers have gone on strike, and Ofsted has found significant damage to morale, at a South London faith school forced by its diocese to cancel the visit of a gay author. In March the Archdiocese of Southwark overruled the staff to prevent author Simon James Green from making an educational visit on World Book Day, […]

Eddie Marsan leads calls to Free Mubarak Bala at Nigerian High Commission

Today, protesters gathered together outside the Nigerian High Commission, sparked by the recent sentencing of the President of the Nigerian Humanist Association Mubarak Bala to 24 years in prison. Eddie Marsan read out devastating testimony from Mubarak about his treatment by authorities even prior to his arrest. The protest, organised by Humanists UK, also coincided […]

Peers from all parties challenge Government on humanist marriages

In the House of Lords this afternoon, 11 peers from all major parties questioned the Government on its failure to legally recognise humanist marriages in England and Wales. This follows the Government’s decision in March to make outdoor civil and religious marriages permanent, but not humanist marriages. Humanists UK leads the campaign for the legal […]

What is morality? Scientists and philosophers to debate at 17 May special event

A very special Humanists UK event on 17 May will bring together our 2021 Darwin Day and Voltaire Lecturers, and the founder-member of the Humanist Philosophers Group, for what promises to be a challenging and thought-provoking exploration of the fundamental nature of morality. What is morality, and what is to be good? Questions concerning the […]

Parliamentary Committee condemns plans to reform Human Rights Act

The UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR), in a report published today, has condemned plans to reform the Human Rights Act 1998. It has stated that ‘the proposals and their consequences run counter to three central principles of human rights law.’ These are that human rights are universal, fundamental and require special protection […]

Serious health conditions more than double suicide rate – ONS

A diagnosis of a serious health condition is associated with an elevated rate of death due to suicide according to new data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) today. Almost 1,000 people with lung and heart conditions died by suicide in England between 2017 and 2020. In the wake of this study, Humanists […]

Humanists UK calls for inclusion of non-religious in press standards code

Humanists UK has responded to IMPRESS’ public consultation on proposed changes to its Standards Code and guidance. IMPRESS stands for Independent Monitor for the Press. It regulates over 190 news publications. The proposed changes intend to make the standards code more equitable. But Humanists UK has highlighted the exclusion of the non-religious and called for […]

Nigerian High Commission protest to free Mubarak Bala

In response to the sentencing of Nigerian Humanist Association President Mubarak Bala, Humanists UK is staging a protest outside the Nigerian High Commission. The protest will take place from 4-6pm on Thursday 28 April 2022. The protest, which calls for Bala’s release, will also mark the second anniversary of his arrest. Last week, Bala was […]

Queen’s Speech to announce Bill to shut illegal schools – reports

The Queen’s Speech is going to announce a new Government Bill to shut down illegal schools in England, according to the Sunday Times. The paper reports that Ofsted, the schools inspectorate, will be granted new powers to enter such settings and remove evidence. Additionally, the previously announced compulsory register of home educated children is set […]

Humanist Climate Action calls for stronger regulations on biodiversity

Humanist Climate Action has responded to the UK Government’s consultation on new Biodiversity Net Gain regulations. In its response, it has welcomed the plans, but called on the Government to close various loopholes in them. Last year, the Environment Act 2021 introduced a requirement that all new developments, which go through the planning approval process, […]

Channel Islands Humanists responds to assisted dying public engagement

Ahead of potential legislation, the States Assembly in Jersey is seeking islanders’ views on assisted dying. Channel Islands Humanists has responded to the consultation, outlining the case for a change in law. The consultation response included examples of international laws as well as possible safeguards. Channel Islands Humanists is encouraging Jersey residents to share their […]

Humanists UK calls for compassion in cases of ‘mercy killings’ and suicide pacts

Humanists UK has responded to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)’s consultation on ‘mercy killings’ and failed suicide pacts. The CPS sought the public’s views on updating legal guidance on homicide. This would assist prosecutors considering the public interest when dealing with suspects in deaths arising out of failed suicide pacts and so-called ‘mercy killings’. In […]

Northern Ireland Humanists calls for blasphemy law repeal and free speech protections in new hate crime law

Northern Ireland Humanists has called on the Department of Justice to use upcoming legislation on hate crime to repeal the country’s blasphemy laws and strengthen protections for freedom of expression. In response to a consultation on reforming hate crime laws, Northern Ireland Humanists stated: ‘Any legislative reform to hate crime laws in Northern Ireland would […]

Nigerian Humanist Association President Mubarak Bala sentenced to 24 years in prison for blasphemy

Mubarak Bala, the President of the Nigerian Humanist Association, has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for posting ‘blasphemous’ content on Facebook. Bala had been in prison awaiting trial for the last two years, and humanists around the world have been campaigning for his release during that time. Today Humanists UK has condemned his […]

Faith schools disadvantage vulnerable children – Schools Adjudicator

Vulnerable children are missing out on local school places due to religious discrimination, according to yesterday’s annual report from the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA). The OSA is the impartial body that regulates English schools’ compliance with the Admissions Code. Humanists UK said it was appalled by the findings. The report states on page […]

Surgeons to review opposition to assisted dying

The Royal College of Surgeons of England will review its opposition to assisted dying. The RCS, which covers England and Wales, will look to survey its members to inform the review. Humanists UK welcomes this review and hopes that the RCS will follow the lead of many other medical bodies in changing their position to […]

Evangelical school drops Operation Christmas Child after parents complain about homophobia

An independent evangelical faith school has abandoned its support of Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse, and its annual shoebox appeal Operation Christmas Child (OCC). St Lawrence College in Ramsgate dropped OCC following a complaint from parents about the charity’s links to homophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric. OCC uses Christmas gifts to proselytise to vulnerable children in the […]

Government revives conversion therapy ban after backlash, but excludes trans people

Yesterday evening the UK Government said it would renege on its commitment to ban the practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ in England and Wales. But following a backlash, the Government later performed a second u-turn. Current reports suggest that the Government will in fact ban conversion therapy, but now only when it is targeted at […]

Previous Justice Secretary takes aim at human rights reforms

Sir Robert Buckland MP and Sir Peter Gross have spoken out against the Government’s planned changes to the Human Rights Act 1998. Sir Robert is the previous Justice Secretary to Dominic Raab, while former Court of Appeal Judge Sir Peter chaired the UK Government-commissioned Independent Human Rights Act Review Panel. They highlighted that the reforms […]

Government abandons plans to ban conversion therapy

The UK Government has abandoned its plans to ban conversion therapy in England and Wales. Humanists UK has long campaigned in favour of such a ban. Today it has expressed its severe dismay at the news. The news has come via a leak to ITV News, with the Government reportedly confirming the decision. The leaked […]

Humanists UK Convention is just three months away

As March comes to a close, Humanists UK Convention 2022 is now less than three months away. The weekend begins with the wildly popular Friday evening comedy, featuring Humanists UK patron Angela Barnes, The Blame Game’s Colin Murphy, Newsquiz’s Eleanor Tiernan, and hosted by Northern Ireland Humanists patron Tim McGarry. Over the course of Saturday […]

At-home abortion provision made permanent in England

MPs have voted by 215 votes to 188 to allow women in England to continue to access abortion services at home, overturning the Government’s recent decision to end this provision in August. Humanists UK has repeatedly called on the Government to make these measures permanent and briefed MPs in the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) […]

Humanists UK calls for end to religious discrimination as UN reviews UK human rights

Humanists UK has called on the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to address religious discrimination in the UK, as it prepares to carry out a review of the country’s human rights performance. Humanists UK argued that the state discriminates against the non-religious in a wide range of ways. It said that […]

Government pledges to increase religious influence in state schools

The Government has announced that it plans to change the law to help religious groups open more state-funded schools in England. The proposals appear in the latest Department for Education white paper, Opportunity for All. The paper also sees the Government announce more financial support for religious authorities to ‘academise’ schools. Humanists UK has expressed […]

Humanists UK launches membership recruitment drive with Adam Rutherford

Humanists UK has today launched a new membership recruitment drive, fronted by a film from incoming president, Dr Adam Rutherford. Adam is an acclaimed geneticist, science writer, broadcaster, and humanist. He is appealing for new members to allow the continuation and growth of Humanists UK’s important work, including its important campaigns, services like pastoral care […]

Humanists UK announces three new patrons: S I Martin, Sarah Hall, and James Forder

Humanists UK is delighted to welcome three new patrons into the fold: writer and historian S I Martin, novelist Sarah Hall, and economist James Forder. S I Martin is a writer and historian specialising in the fields of Black British history and literature. He’s published five books of historical fiction and non-fiction for adult and […]

Northern Ireland Assembly passes buffer zone law to protect women accessing abortion services

Last night the Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) Bill passed its final stage in the Northern Ireland Assembly by 55 votes to 29. This is the first time Assembly members have passed pro-choice legislation. The Bill will create safe zones in the immediate vicinity of abortion clinics to prevent harassment and intimidation of women by […]

Northern Ireland Assembly ends teacher religious discrimination exemption

A Bill ending a religious exemption to anti-discrimination law in the recruitment of teachers passed its final stage in the Northern Ireland Assembly yesterday. The Fair Employment (School Teachers) Bill attracted cross-party support and was approved without a vote, to the sound of applause in the chamber. It will now become law. Northern Ireland Humanists […]

Dr Adam Rutherford to deliver keynote at Humanists UK Convention, in his first address as President

Acclaimed geneticist, science writer, broadcaster, and humanist Adam Rutherford will deliver the keynote address at Humanists UK Convention 2022, taking place 24-26 June in Belfast. The occasion will mark Adam’s first appearance as President of Humanists UK, succeeding current President Alice Roberts in June 2022. Tickets are available to purchase now. Adam uses his platform […]

Humanists UK at UN calls for an end to Pakistan’s persecution of belief minorities

Humanists UK has urged Pakistan to do more to protect religious and non-religious minorities. Speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council, it has called on Pakistan to repeal its blasphemy law, which carries the death penalty, and to revive proposed legislation to protect minority groups from state-led persecution and mob violence. The intervention was […]

New petition: end discriminatory admissions in state schools!

Humanists UK has today launched a new petition to the UK Secretary of State for Education. The petition calls on Nadhim Zahawi MP to remove the ability of state schools in England to choose their pupils on the basis of religion. The aim is to end these discriminatory admissions processes once and for all. The […]

Humanists UK at UN calls for Iran to abolish the death penalty for blasphemy and apostasy

Humanists UK has urged the UN to keep the pressure on Iran to abolish the use of the death penalty for blasphemy and apostasy and to end its persecution of religious and non-religious minorities. The intervention was made by video by Humanists UK’s Education Campaigns Manager Robert Cann, as part of the UN Human Rights […]

S.I. Martin shines a light on ‘The Beliefs of Black Georgians’

For the first lecture in its Humanist Heritage series, Humanists UK hosted writer, educator, and historian S.I. Martin for a lecture on ‘The Beliefs of Black Georgians’, introducing the life and works of a host of remarkable – but often overlooked – figures. Given the strength and influence of Christianity in Britain during ‘the long […]

House of Lords votes for at-home abortion provision

During last night’s late night sitting in the House of Lords, running beyond 2am, peers voted to allow women to continue to access abortion services at home. Prior to Covid, women were required to attend a clinic in person to access abortion pills. But since then, they have been able to receive the pills by […]

Lords assisted dying amendment fails

The House of Lords has voted against an amendment to the Health and Care Bill that would have required UK Government action on assisted dying. The amendment would have required the Government to draft a bill on assisted dying within a year and lay it before Parliament. Humanists UK briefed peers in support of it, […]

Ofsted downgrades Jewish school for unlawfully segregating girls

Ofsted has downgraded a state-funded Jewish school for unlawfully segregating girls. The King David High School in Manchester was given a rating of ‘inadequate’ by the schools inspectorate. It did so  after inspectors found that female pupils attending the school’s single sex unit were being discriminated against. The school’s safeguarding arrangements were also described as […]

Government fails to include humanist marriages in outdoor marriage reforms

The UK Government has today announced it will make permanent the legal recognition of outdoor civil and religious marriages in England and Wales. The decision follows a consultation on the matter, that Humanists UK responded to. Humanists UK has expressed its disappointment that similar reform has not been used to legally recognise humanist marriages. It […]

Convention 2022 comedy line-up is now complete!

Humanists UK Convention 2022 will take place in Belfast over 24–26 June, meeting in person for the first time in three years. As in previous years, the Convention will begin with a comedy night on the Friday evening – and the line-up for that event is now complete, with Angela Barnes, Colin Murphy, and Eleanor […]

Northern Ireland Humanists backs Bill to outlaw teacher religious discrimination

Northern Ireland Humanists has responded to a consultation on a Stormont Bill that seeks to outlaw religious discrimination in the recruitment of teachers. In its response, it has largely agreed with the proposals in the Fair Employment (School Teachers) Bill, stating that such discrimination must be abolished for both primary and secondary teachers. However Northern […]

Humanists UK urges UN support for Nigerian humanist Mubarak Bala

Humanists UK has urged the UN to keep pushing for the immediate release of the President of the Nigerian Humanist Association, Mubarak Bala, and to ask the Nigerian Government to repeal its law criminalising blasphemy. Mr Bala has been imprisoned without trial for almost two years, after facing accusations of blasphemy. UN experts have previously […]

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock awarded Rosalind Franklin Lecture Medal 2022

Tonight, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE delivered the prestigious Humanists UK Rosalind Franklin Lecture, Reaching for the stars. The lecture was an inspiring exploration of Maggie’s journey into astronomy and physics, from budding young scientist to one of the nation’s most beloved astronomers. As in previous years, the Rosalind Franklin Lecture was chaired by the award-winning […]

Children’s humanism book sent to all Jersey primary schools

Channel Islands Humanists has sent the groundbreaking children’s book on humanism, What is Humanism, to every primary school in Jersey this week. Co-authored by Michael Rosen and Annemarie Young, the book has been sent to schools across Jersey to offer young people the opportunity to learn more about the humanist approach to life, as part […]

Northern Ireland Assembly passes Integrated Education Bill

A landmark Bill that will require the Northern Ireland Executive to aim to meet demand for places in integrated schools has today passed its final stage in the Assembly and will become law. The Bill also changes the definition of integrated education so that it explicitly includes the non-religious and those of minority faiths and […]

Humanists UK sounds alarm over Human Rights Act reforms’ impact on the non-religious

Humanists UK has told the UK Government that proposals to reform the Human Rights Act 1998 ‘would be counterproductive and seriously risk undermining human rights protections for non-religious people’. It has done so in response to a consultation led by the Ministry of Justice. At present, the Act means that public bodies and the courts […]

Outrage as Catholic Archdiocese bans LGBT author from speaking in state schools

Humanists UK has expressed its outrage after the Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark reportedly banned a celebrated LGBT author from making educational visits to two state-funded Catholic schools. Simon James Green is the author of 11 children’s books, and his work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Carnegie Medal and the Blue Peter Book […]

Humanist delivers Northern Ireland Thought for the Day on International Women’s Day

Northern Ireland Humanists celebrant Sheena Bradley delivered BBC Radio Ulster’s Thought for the Day on International Women’s Day. Unlike the rest of the UK, where BBC policy bans non-religious people from contributing to the daily morning radio slot, humanists have been making regular contributions to Thought for the Day in Northern Ireland since 2021. Sheena’s […]

Humanists UK calls for greater protection of non-religious Afghans at UN

Humanists UK has called for the UN Human Rights Council to do what it can to uphold the rights of non-religious Afghans. It has done so by way of an intervention in which it highlighted the deteriorating state of freedom of belief and increasing persecution of minorities since the Taliban takeover last year. The intervention […]

Scientist, writer, and broadcaster Adam Rutherford named next President of Humanists UK

Humanists UK is delighted to announce that acclaimed geneticist, science writer, broadcaster, and humanist Adam Rutherford will be its next President. He will succeed current President Alice Roberts in June 2022 who, like her predecessors as President, will become a Vice President of Humanists UK. Adam has been a high-profile ambassador and patron of Humanists […]

Government to take firmer stance on religious ‘conversion therapy’

Mike Freer, the Minister for Equalities, has confirmed that the Government’s proposed ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy’ will cover both practices that take place in religious settings and those that are carried out by ministers of religion. LGBT Humanists has previously called on the Government to close loopholes in its proposals on religious conversion therapy. […]

Parliamentary humanists: ‘recognise humanist marriages immediately’

Today the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) met to discuss the pressing need to legally recognise humanist marriages in England and Wales. An expert panel of speakers called on the Government to extend legal recognition now, rather than wait until the outcome of the Law Commission’s review of marriage. Humanists UK, which acts as the […]

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock to deliver the Rosalind Franklin Lecture 2022

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, space scientist, science educator and presenter of the Sky at Night, has been announced as the 2022 Rosalind Franklin Lecturer and medallist. The online event will be held on Thursday 10 March. With her characteristic enthusiasm and talent for simplifying complex ideas, Maggie will take attendees on a journey from 1970s inner […]

Welsh Government makes at-home abortions a permanent option

The Welsh Goverrnment has announced that it will make at-home abortions a permanent option. The decision follows a consultation on the matter that Wales Humanists responded to. Wales Humanists has welcomed the announcement. The option of having an at-home abortion in the early weeks of pregnancy was first introduced across Britain in 2020, as a […]

Government announces end to at-home abortions in England

Today, the UK Minister for Vaccines and Public Health, Maggie Throup, announced that at-home abortions in England will end on 29 August. Temporary approval was put in place at the beginning of the pandemic to allow women to allow take both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation at home. But this […]

Humanism in the classroom: interview with Director of Understanding Humanism, Luke Donnellan

Earlier this year, Humanists UK relaunched Understanding Humanism, its dedicated website providing resources for teachers and parents. We spoke to Director of Understanding Humanism Luke Donnellan to find out more about the programme. Hi Luke. For anyone who doesn’t know, what would you say are the main aims of Understanding Humanism? We aim to provide […]

Humanists UK comment on Trojan Horse Affair podcast

On 3 February, the New York Times (NYT)/Serial Productions published a podcast series called The Trojan Horse Affair, presented by Brian Reed and Hamza Syed. The podcast focuses on events in 2014 that followed the emergence of a letter purporting to be written by a participant in an Islamist plot to take over state schools […]

Two arrested after assisted dying campaigner dies in Switzerland

It has been reported that two arrests have been made on suspicion of assisting or encouraging suicide, following the death of incurably suffering assisted dying campaigner Sharon Johnston in Switzerland. Ms Johnston was paralysed as a result of falling down the stairs. She spoke publicly about her wish to have an assisted death in a […]

Humanist Climate Action calls for Government action on plastic pollution

Humanist Climate Action has called for Government action to tackle plastic pollution. Responding to two consultations launched by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Humanist Climate Action supported proposals to bring forward a legislative ban on bio-based, compostable, and biodegradable single-use plastic items. Such plastics are known to have wide and long-lasting degenerative […]

Removal of ‘baptism barrier’ for school places contributing to fewer Christenings in Ireland

Trends in the Republic of Ireland appear to demonstrate a link between the removal of required religious practice for school admissions, and the number of people engaging in that practice. Ireland  removed the so-called ‘baptism barrier’ – whereby unbaptised children were sometimes ineligible for admission to certain Catholic schools – and a reduction in the […]

Professor Dame Anne Johnson awarded Darwin Day Medal 2022

Tonight Professor Dame Anne Johnson delivered the prestigious Humanists UK Darwin Day Lecture 2022, on ‘People and Pathogens: the evolution of infections’, an exploration of the dynamic interplay between pathogens and human populations, informed by her lifetime of work in the field of infectious disease. As in previous years, the Darwin Day Lecture was chaired […]

Parent challenges admissions regulator after Catholic Diocese allowed to limit school choice

The Catholic Church has been allowed to dictate the admissions policies of secondary schools in Leicester, even where these are not faith schools. This is according to a parent who has made a complaint to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) – the body that regulates schools admissions. The parent, Dr Sara Thompson, argues […]

Government threatened with legal action over Catholic academy power-grab

UPDATE 16th February: following legal challenge, the Department for Education has reportedly paused the Diocese of Hallam’s bid for 19 schools to become Catholic academies. Nevertheless, the Diocese says it still plans to pursue its plans by Easter. Original article follows. A group of education unions is threatening to take legal action against the UK […]

Faith-based admissions abolished in 35 Suffolk schools

Suffolk County Council has voted to end religious discrimination for admissions to 35 Church of England schools. Local authorities set the admissions policies for some faith schools, known as voluntary controlled schools, and around a quarter of local authorities allow these schools to religiously select who they admit. At a recent Suffolk Cabinet meeting it […]

Opt-out organ donation law passes final stage in Northern Ireland Assembly

The Organ and Tissue Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill has passed through its final stage in the Northern Ireland Assembly. It now only needs royal assent to become law. The Bill, which will come into effect in 2023 following a year-long public awareness campaign, will introduce a ‘soft opt-out’ system of organ donation. This means that […]

Northern Ireland Humanists calls for inclusive schools in response to Independent Review of Education

Northern Ireland Humanists has responded to the Independent Review of Education’s ‘initial request for views’ consultation, setting out its vision for the future of education. It told the panel of its vision for a system in which students from different religion and belief backgrounds are educated together in schools that are equally inclusive of all. […]

LGBT Humanists calls for stronger ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy’

LGBT Humanists has called for the UK Government to strengthen proposals to ban the abhorrent practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ in England and Wales. It has done so in response to a consultation by the Government Equalities Office. This consultation proposes to criminalise these practices, but only for those under 18 years of age or […]

Success! Government to introduce register of children not in school to help shut illegal schools

The Government has announced that it will introduce a compulsory register of children not in schools, in a move that will safeguard thousands of children and help to tackle illegal schools. All other pupils are already on the registers of their schools. Humanists UK leads the national campaign against illegal schools and has been calling […]

Cross-party MPs urge Minister to legally recognise humanist marriages in Westminster Hall debate

Today cross-party MPs called on the UK Government to legally recognise humanist marriages in a Westminster Hall debate. The debate was led by Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) Crispin Blunt MP, and saw Conservative, Labour, and Plaid Cymru colleagues speak in favour. Humanists UK welcomed MPs’ efforts in calling for this crucial […]

Jewish and humanist: secular Jews who helped shape the humanist movement in Britain

The history of secular Jewish people in the humanist movement is deeper than many realise, and Jewish humanists in the UK and around the world have played an outsized role in the development of the modern-day humanist movement. In a conversation with Andrew Copson for Humanists UK’s podcast What I Believe, Jewish comedian, writer, and […]

Over 50 MPs and peers urge recognition of humanist marriages ahead of Parliamentary debate

53 MPs and peers have signed a joint letter calling on the UK Government to immediately legally recognise humanist marriages in England and Wales ahead of a parliamentary debate on the matter. The letter has been signed by parliamentarians from all major parties and across the religion or belief spectrum. The letter was organised by […]

New law to end teacher discrimination in Northern Ireland a step closer

A Bill that would end teacher discrimination in Northern Ireland has passed its first stage in the Assembly, bringing welcome progress to Northern Ireland Humanists’ campaign for a single education system free of religious bias. If the Fair Employment (Teachers) Bill, introduced to the assembly by Chris Lyttle MLA, becomes law it will mean that […]

Blow to future of education as Northern Ireland Assembly votes to weaken Integrated Education Bill

The Northern Ireland Assembly has voted to weaken seriously a pioneering Bill designed to improve access to integrated schools. Northern Ireland Humanists fears that a series of amendments to the Integrated Education Bill voted through this week mean that, in the event it becomes law, it will now do less than needed to bring different […]

CPS consults on compassionate ‘mercy killings’

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has launched a consultation on proposed changes to its ‘Homicide: Murder and Manslaughter’ Guidance. This seeks to make it less likely for those involved with suicide pacts or ‘mercy killings’ to be prosecuted if there are relevant public interest factors such as the person had reached a ‘voluntary, clear, settled […]

New website about humanism for teachers and schools

Humanists UK has today relaunched its hugely successful Understanding Humanism website for schools. The website features over 100 new resources for teachers and students, including information sheets, presentations, activities, films, assessment ideas, and humanist perspectives on a wide range of questions and topics. Teachers will find content for ages 5-18, with the material at each […]

Remembering Bob Hughes (1932–2022) 

Humanists UK is saddened to hear of the death of its former Vice President, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG), and Labour Party peer, Lord Bob Hughes of Woodside. Born in Pittenweem near Fife in Scotland, the young Bob Hughes came into politics after an early career as an engineer for the […]

Parents exaggerate religious affiliation to secure local school places

About 6% of parents have exaggerated their religious affiliation in order to secure a local school place, according to research from Zoopla, the property website. Given that less than 1.5% of the population attends Church of England services in an average week, and that less than 4% of those of parent age attend any church […]

Humanists call on Government to legally recognise humanist marriages in England and Wales

Yesterday the Government announced proposals to introduce outdoor civil marriages at approved premises on a permanent basis and to also introduce outdoor religious marriages, but failed to make any similar reforms to legally recognise humanist marriages. Humanists UK has urged the Government to act now to legally recognise humanist marriages without delay. Humanists UK Chief […]

Christmas is a ‘time of year for everyone’ says British public

For most Britons, including Christians, Christmas is a time of year to everyone, a new YouGov poll has found. When asked to reflect on their view around Christmas, 74% of British adults say they believe it to be ‘a time of year for everyone’, including 78% of the non-religious, 76% of Christians, and 58% of […]

Humanists UK and QMUL to co-host academic conference on 19th century humanism and freethought

Humanists UK is delighted to announce that in September 2022, it will be co-convening a dedicated academic conference exploring the rich history of 19th century humanism and freethought. Freethought in the Long Nineteenth Century: New Perspectives, a groundbreaking two-day conference, is being led by Dr Clare Stainthorp of Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL), with […]

Humanists UK calls for labelling for non-stunned meat

Humanists UK has called for the introduction of a clear and simple labelling system to identify non-stunned meat products, in response to a consultation by the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs. This measure would ensure that consumers are informed and empowered to make choices about their food in accordance with their beliefs and […]

Northern Ireland Assembly votes pro-choice for first time ever as Anti-Abortion Bill defeated

Yesterday, members of the Northern Ireland Assembly voted in favour of abortion rights for the first time ever. They did so in defeating a Bill designed to restrict access to abortion. The Severe Foetal Impairment Abortion (Amendment) Bill, a private members’ bill brought forward by DUP MLA Christopher Stalford, sought to restrict access to abortion […]

Inclusive Assemblies Bill passes first stage in House of Commons

A landmark Bill seeking to overhaul the law on school assemblies has been introduced in the House of Commons. The Education (Assemblies) Bill, which recently completed its passage through the House of Lords, was originally tabled by Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) Baroness Burt, a Liberal Democrat. It has now been picked […]

Success in Wales as the Senedd approves RSE Code requiring rights-based teaching

The Senedd yesterday approved the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) Code as part of the new Curriculum for Wales. The RSE Code, together with associated guidance, sets out the core learning that must be covered in the subject, as well as the principles of delivering quality RSE and the law that underpins it. The RSE […]

Proposed Human Rights Act reforms would fundamentally undermine the rights of humanists

Yesterday, the Government published its long-awaited proposals on reforming the Human Rights Act. If passed into law, these reforms will have a devastating impact on the fundamental rights of humanists. The Government has announced it wants to reform section 3 of the Act to severely curtail the ability of public authorities and the courts to […]

Government reform of human rights law would have devastating impact

The UK Government has today announced, via an article in the Times, proposed changes to the operation of the Human Rights Act (HRA). These proposals will have far reaching consequences for humanists, who depend upon the courts having the power to interpret legislation in line with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to establish […]

Professor Dame Anne Johnson to deliver 2022 Darwin Day Lecture, on ‘People and pathogens’

Professor Dame Anne Johnson will deliver the Darwin Day Lecture 2022, taking place on 11 February 2022. This Darwin Day Lecture, a highlight of the humanist calendar, and an online-first hybrid event, will be chaired by Humanists UK President Professor Alice Roberts. Dame Anne will speak on ‘People and pathogens: the evolution of infections’. A […]

Inclusive Assemblies Bill completes passage through House of Lords

A Bill aiming to replace compulsory Christian worship with inclusive assemblies in English schools without a religious character has today completed its passage through the House of Lords. Humanists UK has long campaigned for reforms to the law mandating worship in schools. Today it said it was delighted with this progress. The introduction of assemblies […]

Dr Laura Schwartz delivers the Holyoake Lecture 2021: Infidel Feminism

Over 300 households tuned in on 30 November to hear Dr Laura Schwartz give Humanists UK’s prestigious annual Holyoake Lecture, on ‘Infidel Feminism: Secularism and Women’s Rights Past and Present’. Laura’s lecture was a deep-dive into the lesser-known history of women’s rights, and highlighted how humanist and secularist convictions shaped the lives and activism of […]

Former pupils of illegal schools tell parliamentarians of abuse

On Monday parliamentarians heard first hand-accounts of abuse from former pupils of illegal schools. At a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG), the pupils called for the Government to take action to close the loopholes which enable these unsafe settings to operate. Three former pupils of illegal and unregistered schools in London gave […]

Children’s Services Chiefs call for home education register that would help close illegal schools

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) has called for a compulsory register of home educated children, as the number of children thought to be educated outside of school settings soars. Humanists UK, which has long campaigned for such a register to help in the crackdown on illegal religious schools, has welcomed the news. […]

Northern Ireland’s political leaders must do more to support integrated education, report concludes

Political leaders in Northern Ireland must do more to support integrated education, a new report has argued. Northern Ireland Humanists, which has long-campaigned for a single-system of education that teaches children from different backgrounds together, has welcomed the conclusions. The report was published by the University of Ulster’s UNESCO Centre this week. It says that […]

Jersey Assembly votes for humane right to die law

Jersey’s States Assembly today approved a proposal to change the law on assisted dying for adult islanders with terminal or incurable conditions, who have a clear and settled wish to end their lives. Channel Islands Humanists, part of Humanists UK, which campaigns for a right to die for those with terminal or incurable illnesses, praised […]

Northern Ireland’s blasphemy laws are ‘archaic and have no place in modern society’ confirms Justice Minister

Northern Ireland Justice Minister Naomi Long has repeated her call for the blasphemy laws to be repealed stating that they are ‘archaic and that they have no place in modern society.’ She had previously confirmed her support for repeal in March this year, alongside Finance Minister Conor Murphy, following a campaign by Northern Ireland Humanists. […]

Angela Barnes appointed patron for Humanists UK

Humanists UK is delighted to announce the appointment of its newest patron, Angela Barnes. Angela is an award-winning comedian who joins a stable of over 180 Humanists UK patrons with distinguished careers in arts, literature, science, academia, politics, and community and civic activism. Angela Barnes is a stand-up comedian and comedy show panellist. In 2011 […]

Humanist Climate Action reflects on COP26

Humanist Climate Action is a volunteer-led network of Humanists UK members and supporters committed to redefining lifestyles and campaigning for policies that promote low-carbon, ethical, and sustainable living in the light of the degeneration of the Earth’s climate and biodiversity. On 6 November, Humanist Climate Action joined forces with Eco-Humanists, from Humanist Society Scotland, at […]

Jersey Assembly to discuss proposed right to die law

Jersey’s States Assembly will meet today to discuss proposals from the Citizens’ Jury to change the law for adult islanders with terminal or incurable conditions who have a clear and settled wish to end their lives. Channel Islands Humanists, part of Humanists UK, campaigns to legalise assisted dying for both the terminally ill and incurably […]

Northern Ireland Humanists calls for integrated education to be top human rights priority

Northern Ireland Humanists has called on the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission to prioritise integrated education in its strategic plan for the next three years. At present, most children from Catholic and Protestant backgrounds are educated apart from one another. Northern Ireland Humanists advocates for schools to educate children from different religious and belief backgrounds […]

Family to challenge law requiring Christian RE and worship in Northern Ireland schools

The High Court will consider a challenge to the laws requiring faith-based Christian religious education (RE) and collective worship in schools in Northern Ireland today. A non-religious family is mounting the legal challenge arguing the exclusively Christian nature of RE and worship violates their human rights. The case is being supported by Northern Ireland Humanists. […]

Education Committee discusses massively diluting Integrated Education Bill

The Northern Ireland Education Committee yesterday discussed significantly watering down the Integrated Education Bill. In its current form, the Bill requires the promotion of integrated education, but this may be removed following a meeting in Stormont. A number of amendments to the Bill were proposed, including changing the promoting requirement to merely supporting integrated education. […]

Humanists UK launches season four of its podcast ‘What I Believe’

Humanists UK is launching season four of its hit podcast, What I Believe, with the help of some well-known humanists including Shaparak Khorsandi, John Amaechi, and Steven Pinker. Each week, host Andrew Copson speaks to a humanist in the public eye about what they believe, to understand more about the values, convictions, and opinions they […]

Humanists ‘are discriminated against in 144 countries’ – 2021 Freedom of Thought Report

Humanists are discriminated against in 144 countries across the globe. 83 countries have criminal punishments for blasphemy or apostasy, including 13 where it remains a capital offence. In 12 countries, government figures or state agencies openly marginalise, harass, or incite hatred or violence against the non-religious. These are the top-line findings of the tenth annual […]

Humanists pay tribute on Remembrance Day 2021

Humanists UK and Defence Humanists have marked Remembrance Day 2021 by holding their annual Service sponsored by the Ministry of Defence, and by taking part in national and local Remembrance Day ceremonies across the UK. The annual Humanist Remembrance Day ceremony was broadcast at 10:00 on Remembrance Day on the subject of ‘human values’. The […]

Egyptian humanist would have been wrongly deported if justice reforms were in place, Parliament told

Parliament has heard how an Egyptian humanist would have been wrongly deported if proposed reforms to judicial review were already in place. Shadow Justice Minister Andy Slaughter MP raised the case of the asylum seeker, who was supported by Humanists UK, during debate on the  Judicial Review and Courts Bill. He did so to challenge […]

Inclusive Assemblies Bill passes latest stage in the Lords

A Bill seeking to replace Christian worship in schools without a religious character with inclusive assemblies moved one step closer to becoming law today. It passed the committee stage in the House of Lords, the second major stage. Humanists UK has long called for changes to the law on compulsory school worship. Today it said […]

Humanists march for Climate Action at COP26

Humanist Climate Action joined forces with Eco-Humanists, from Humanist Society Scotland, at demonstrations as part of the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice around the COP26 summit. Humanists marched alongside representatives from other religion or belief groups in Glasgow and London. Humanist Climate Action called on delegates to COP26 to make a firm and meaningful commitment […]

Appeal launched to fund campaign against faith schools

Humanists UK has launched a fresh appeal to fund its dedicated campaign against state-funded religious schools through 2022. DONATE TODAY   In an email sent to members and supporters over the weekend, Humanists UK President Professor Alice Roberts outlined some of the enormous achievements of the charity’s dedicated Faith Schools Campaigner, Dr Ruth Wareham. These […]

High Court upholds Somerset school merger that will make all local schools religious

The High Court has rejected a challenge to the proposed merger of a Church of England school and a school without a religious character into a single Church of England primary. A non-religious family challenged Somerset County Council’s decision to merge the schools, arguing that the complete removal of all school places outside of Christian […]

Humanists UK urges caution over Christmas shoebox appeals run by evangelical groups

Humanists UK is urging schools to check who is behind Christmas shoebox appeals, after receiving numerous queries from worried parents. There are many reputable charities now running such appeals. But Humanists UK has identified two in particular that use the generosity of donors to evangelise to vulnerable children. Samaritan’s Purse is the organisation behind Operation […]

Humanists UK asks for equal treatment for non-religious asylum seekers

Humanists UK has asked for equal treatment for non-religious asylum seekers in response to a consultation by the Women and Equalities Select Committee. In 13 countries being non-religious is punishable by death under blasphemy and apostasy laws. In over 40 more non-religious people are sent to prison. These laws make equal treatment in the UK […]

Guernsey keeps teacher discrimination law after Catholic threat to close state schools

The States of Guernsey has rejected a proposal to remove a law that allows state-funded religious schools to discriminate against teachers who don’t share their faith. The decision comes after the Catholic Church threatened to close the three schools it runs on the Bailiwick rather than appoint non-Catholics to senior teaching positions. Humanists UK and […]

Humanist Climate Action COP26 Declaration

Humanist Climate Action is a volunteer-led network of Humanists UK members and supporters committed to redefining lifestyles and campaigning for policies that promote low-carbon, ethical, and sustainable living in the light of the degeneration of the Earth’s climate and biodiversity. It has made the following statement, targeted at COP26 delegates: Humanist Climate Action is a […]

Catholic Church threatens to close Guernsey state schools

The Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth, Philip Egan, who has responsibility for Guernsey, has threatened to close three state schools on the Bailiwick after objecting to an aspect of the proposed new anti-discrimination law. The Discrimination Ordinance, which will be debated by the States of Guernsey tomorrow, is set to outlaw religious discrimination, including teaching staff […]

Government restrictions on ‘conversion therapy’ falls short

Today, the Government launched a consultation on restricting so-called ‘conversion therapy’, but its proposals  fall short of the full ban needed to prevent harm. In 2018 the Government committed to this under the LGBT Action Plan. However, what it has now announced does not adequately protect against conversion therapy in religious settings, where the majority […]

Peers back new assisted dying law

Plans to allow doctors to help terminally ill adults end their lives moved closer to becoming law today, after a new Assisted Dying Bill passed its second reading in the House of Lords. Humanists UK, which campaigns to legalise assisted dying for both the terminally ill and incurably suffering, has praised today’s debate for its […]

Two Jewish schools banned from admitting new students due to persistent failings

The Department for Education has issued enforcement letters to two independent Jewish schools. The letters, issued to TTD Gur School and Bnois Jerusalem Girls School in London, require both schools to cease admitting new pupils immediately. Recent inspections have found a number of failings relating to teaching about women and those of other religions and […]

High Court hears case against Somerset school merger that will make all local primaries religious

The High Court heard a case last week against the proposed merger of a Church of England school and a school without a religious character into a single Church of England primary. A non-religious family is challenging Somerset County Council’s decision to merge the schools. They argue the complete removal of non-faith school places discriminates […]

Humanist Climate Action to take part in COP26 demonstrations in Glasgow and London

Humanist Climate Action is taking part in the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice on Saturday 6 November as part of the demonstrations around the COP26 Summit. The network will take part in demonstrations in both Glasgow and London, and is encouraging other humanists to join them. It is hoped these demonstrations will raise […]

Northern Ireland Humanists gives oral evidence on integrated schools to Stormont Education Committee

The Integrated Education Bill won’t foster respect and understanding between religion and belief groups if it doesn’t require integrated schools to have a fully inclusive ethos, Northern Ireland Humanists has told Stormont’s Education Committee. In an oral evidence session, Northern Ireland Humanists told the Committee that the Bill must address Christian bias in the education […]

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