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Rally planned as Parliament to debate compassionate assisted dying law

On 22 October, for the first time in years, the UK Parliament will debate legislation to legalise assisted dying for the terminally ill. Humanists UK, which campaigns for a right to die for those with terminal or incurable illnesses, fully supports the Assisted Dying Bill as a landmark step towards much-needed reform. It will be […]

Repeal of Northern Ireland’s blasphemy laws delayed until next Assembly session

Northern Ireland’s blasphemy laws are unlikely to be repealed within the current session of the Assembly. Northern Ireland Humanists has been working with the relevant Ministers to bring forward repeal. The Department of Justice hoped to do so as part of a wider criminal law reform bill. But the Department of Justice has been unable […]

Success! Jersey Ministers move forward with right to die law

Channel Islands Humanists and Humanists UK have welcomed the news that Jersey’s Council of Ministers have brought forward proposals for assisted dying. The proposals are to change the law for adult islanders with terminal or incurable conditions who have a clear and settled wish to end their lives. Humanists UK has hailed this as a […]

Success as Humanists UK returns to party conferences

Humanists UK made a buzz returning to the party conference scene this year. Staff attended the Conservative and Labour Party conferences, with an exhibition stand and fringe event at both. Humanists UK had great success in meeting over 100 MPs and peers, including many ministers, and greeting and recruiting members. Humanist and Secularist Liberal Democrats […]

MP proposes new measure to reduce non-stunned slaughter of animals

Chris Loder, MP for West Dorset and animal welfare campaigner, has announced he will lay an amendment to the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill to reduce the number of animals slaughtered without stunning. Humanists UK, which campaigns to repeal religious exemptions to animal welfare legislation which allow animals to be slaughtered without pre-stunning, has welcomed […]

That’s humanism! Stephen Fry and Humanists UK explore humanism in new social media campaign

Humanists UK has teamed up with its patron Stephen Fry to explore humanist ideas about some of life’s big questions with a new educational campaign entitled That’s humanism! The four videos, entitled ‘How can I be happy?’, ‘What should we think about death?’, ‘How do we know what’s true?’ and ‘What makes something right or […]

Nichola Raihani appointed patron of Humanists UK

Humanists UK is delighted to announce the appointment of its newest patron, Professor Nichola Raihani. Raihani is a renowned evolutionary biologist who joins a stable of over 170 Humanists UK patrons with distinguished careers in arts, literature, science, academia, politics, and community and civic activism. Nichola Raihani is a Royal Society University Research Fellow and […]

Humanists UK at UN urges repeal of blasphemy and apostasy laws in Somalia

In its latest intervention at the UN Human Rights Council, Humanists UK has called on the Government of Somalia to remove blasphemy from its penal code and to repeal the death penalty for apostasy. Speaking via a video intervention during the Universal Periodic Review of Somalia’s human rights performance, Humanists UK’s Campaigns Officer Rachel Taggart-Ryan […]

Afghan resettlement schemes must protect the non-religious, Humanists UK tells UN

Humanists UK has called on the UN Human Rights Council to take greater action to protect the human rights of religious and non-religious minority groups in Afghanistan facing persecution in the wake of the Taliban takeover. Speaking via a video intervention, Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson stated, ‘Even before the Taliban takeover, Afghanistan was […]

Humanist walks in Bloomsbury and Manchester commemorate 125 years of Humanists UK

In celebration of its 125th anniversary, Humanists UK has partnered with the guided walking tours app Go Jauntly to produce free guided walks for two sites rich with humanist history: Bloomsbury and Manchester. About our humanist walking tours The walks provide an opportunity to learn more about a host of better and lesser-known humanists, and […]

Bursary launched in honour of humanist ceremonies pioneer as she retires from Birmingham Humanists Committee

A new bursary has been launched to honour Jane Wynne Willson, author and patron of Humanists UK, who stepped down from the Committee of Birmingham Humanists on Sunday. To mark the occasion, a celebrant training bursary was launched in her honour. The Jane Wynne Willson Celebrant Training Bursary, provided by Birmingham Humanists and Humanists UK, […]

Nichola Raihani explains the evolutionary origins of cooperation in the biggest Voltaire Lecture to date

Nichola Raihani, Professor of Evolution and Behaviour at UCL, and author of The Social Instinct: How Cooperation Shaped the World, on Wednesday night delivered the Voltaire Lecture 2021 on the same title, in an event viewed by over 1,000 people worldwide and chaired by Humanists UK President Professor Alice Roberts. Describing human cooperation as ‘our […]

Visit Humanists UK at this year’s party conferences

Humanists UK is attending the Labour and Conservative Party Conferences this year and has a stand and fringe event at both. Humanist and Secularist Liberal Democrats had a stand and ran two fringe events at the Liberal Democrats Party Conference which took place last weekend. Conservative Party Conference (Sunday 3 to Wednesday 6 October) Come […]

Northern Ireland Humanists celebrant to take part in Northern Ireland’s Thought for the Day for the first time

Tomorrow (Wednesday 22 September) Janni Knox will be the first Northern Ireland Humanists voice to take part in Northern Ireland’s Thought for the Day on BBC Radio Ulster. Janni is a Northern Ireland Humanists weddings, namings, and funerals celebrant based in Belfast. Her contribution will be focused on the Balmoral Show. It marks the start […]

Compulsory school worship undermines new curriculum, Wales Humanists tells Senedd Committee

The legal requirement for schools to carry out a daily act of Christian worship will undermine the aims of the new Curriculum for Wales and should be scrapped in favour of inclusive assemblies, Wales Humanists has told a Senedd committee. The new Curriculum for Wales is due to come into force from 2022. It explicitly […]

Humanists UK warns that new Borders Bill could breach human rights

Humanists UK has expressed concern about the Nationality and Borders Bill in response to an inquiry by the Joint Committee on Human Rights. The Bill has recently passed the second reading in the House of Commons. The Bill would introduce a temporary protection order, rather than granting asylum, for those who have entered the UK […]

Jersey citizens’ jury pushes for legal assisted dying in final report

A citizens’ panel of 23 islanders in Jersey, tasked with examining the case for assisted dying reform, has urged lawmakers to legalise the right to an assisted death. The full report from Jersey’s Citizens’ Jury on Assisted Dying has been welcomed by Channel Islands Humanists, who has urged Jersey’s Council of Ministers to take note […]

Little Book of Humanist Weddings out now!

Buy from hive.co.uk Buying from hive.co.uk supports local independent bookshops. Get your copy Buy from Waterstones Buy from Waterstones, one of the UK’s largest and most longstanding bookstores. Get your copy Shop with Amazon Smile When you shop with Amazon Smile, Amazon donates to your chosen charity. Get your copy A new book by Humanists […]

New domestic abuse guidance must protect apostates, says Faith to Faithless

Faith to Faithless has welcomed new draft statutory guidance on recognising and preventing domestic abuse. But has called for apostates to be specifically included as a group particularly vulnerable to abuse. In 2019, Humanists UK and Faith to Faithless called on the Government to take action against abuse based upon religious doctrines by including spiritual […]

Guernsey set to provide equal protection for the non-religious after Channel Islands Humanists campaign

Channel Islands Humanists’ recommendation that Guernsey’s new Discrimination Ordinance should provide equal protection for the non-religious has been adopted by the Committee for Employment & Social Security. The States of Guernsey will now consider this recommendation later this year. The Discrimination Ordinance is Guernsey’s first comprehensive legislation to prevent discrimination. In 2020, Channel Islands Humanists […]

Government consults labelling for non-stunned meat

The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has launched a consultation on the introduction of a new labelling system for meat products. This includes considering whether the system should indicate if the animal was stunned before slaughter. Humanists UK, which campaigns to repeal religious exemptions to animal welfare legislation which allow animals to […]

BMA drops opposition to assisted dying

The UK’s largest professional body of doctors has voted to end its 15-year opposition to the legalisation of assisted dying. Humanists UK has welcomed the decision as a seismic victory in the campaign for assisted dying. By a margin of 49% to 48%, members of the British Medical Association (BMA) voted to approve a motion […]

Over a 100 doctors call for the BMA to end its opposition to assisted dying

103 doctors, including several members of the British Medical Association, have signed an open letter urging the BMA to end its opposition to assisted dying. The UK Assisted Dying Coalition, which includes Humanists UK, has organised the letter. It comes ahead of the BMA’s annual policy-making conference, where doctors will debate on 14 September the […]

Peers come out strongly in favour of Inclusive Assemblies Bill

A Bill proposing to replace the requirement for schools without a religious character to carry out Christian worship with inclusive assemblies has today passed its second stage in the House of Lords. Humanists UK, which has long campaigned for reforms to the law mandating worship in schools, said it was delighted that a strong majority […]

Majority of parents think compulsory school worship law should not be enforced, new poll reveals, as Lords propose reform

A law from 1944 that mandates Christian worship in non-religious state schools in England is coming under challenge in Parliament today, as peers debate replacing it with a requirement for inclusive assemblies for all. The law was controversial even when first agreed seven decades ago. However, it is now widely seen as unacceptable, with new […]

Child sexual abuse inquiry raises serious alarm about illegal schools

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has today published its report on child protection in religious organisations and settings. Its report substantially focuses on issues related to out-of-school settings, particularly illegal schools. The report provides significant evidence of widespread abuse in these settings, and makes the argument that such abuse is enabled due […]

Historic first: Northern Ireland Catholic school becomes integrated

The first Catholic school in Northern Ireland to become integrated will open to pupils tomorrow. Northern Ireland Humanists has long campaigned for children from different religious and non-religious backgrounds to be educated together. It called the news ‘a victory for inclusive education’. Seaview Primary School in Glenarm was granted permission to transition from Catholic to […]

Party leaders unite to welcome fifth anniversary of Northern Ireland Humanists

Northern Ireland’s party leaders sent messages of support and congratulations as Northern Ireland Humanists marks its fifth anniversary this week. Northern Ireland Humanists celebrated its fifth anniversary on Tuesday 31 August with a special event hosted by Tim McGarry, Northern Ireland Humanists patron, and Boyd Sleator, Northern Ireland Humanists’ Coordinator. To mark this significant milestone, […]

High Court to hear case against faith school takeover in Somerset

The High Court has granted permission for a family to challenge Somerset County Council’s decision to merge two local schools, one without a religious character, resulting in the creation of one school under the auspices of the Church of England. Under the Council’s proposals, local parents would be left with little choice but to have […]

Humanists respond to crisis in Afghanistan

Take action today by writing to your MP to urge them to advocate for a humanitarian response to the crisis. The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan has been devastating for millions of people, with many losing their lives, livelihoods, or being internally displaced. The crisis is particularly devastating for women and girls. They now face being […]

Professor Nichola Raihani to deliver Voltaire Lecture 2021

Humanists UK has announced the Voltaire Lecture 2021 – The Social Instinct – will be delivered by Nichola Raihani, psychologist, Professor of Evolution and Behaviour, and author of a 2021 book by the same name. Following the lecture, taking place on Wednesday 22 September, Raihani will be presented with the Voltaire Lecture Medal by Humanists […]

Northern Ireland Humanists announces five year anniversary celebration

Northern Ireland Humanists will be celebrating its five years of work advancing humanism, rational thinking, and kindness in Northern Ireland with a special anniversary event on 31 August. The event, which is being hosted by the comedian and Northern Ireland Humanists patron Tim McGarry, will also see the launch of a brand new report examining […]

71% in Northern Ireland want end to faith-segregated schools

71% of people in Northern Ireland want to see an end to religiously segregated schools, according to the latest polling data from LucidTalk. Northern Ireland Humanists has said the data should give ministers confidence to press ahead with a reformed single education system, and that the time has come to leave behind the divisions of […]

Children in care excluded from 76% of Catholic and all Jewish secondaries through admissions policies – new research

Religious state schools routinely de-prioritise children who are or were in care in their admissions policies, by making use of their powers to select pupils on faith grounds. That’s the finding of a new report from Humanists UK. The report – Careless or uncaring? How faith schools turn away children who are or were in […]

UK Government has no idea how many children locked out of schools because of faith admissions

The UK Government has admitted it has no idea how many children in England are locked out of their local schools because of faith-based admissions policies. Nor does it know how many families have had to place their children in faith schools because there are no community schools in their local area. Humanists UK campaigns […]

MPs call for home-education register to help tackle illegal schools

The Education Select Committee has urged the UK Government to introduce a compulsory register of children educated outside of school in England ‘as soon as possible’. Humanists UK – which has been lobbying for such a register to help prevent the operation of illegal schools for many years – has welcomed the news. But it […]

Faith to Faithless to hold national Apostasy Conference

This August will see delegates turning out in their hundreds for a national Apostasy Conference, organised by Faith to Faithless, the Humanists UK support programme for so-called ‘apostates’ (people who leave high-control religions and cults). The online conference will take place over four days, and will feature in-depth talks and roundtable discussions on the key […]

UK Government orders commissioning of Northern Ireland abortion services

The UK Government has used its powers to order the Northern Ireland Executive to commission abortion services. It made the move after some parties’ opposition in Stormont led to continued delay to the rollout of abortion services in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland Humanists welcomed the decision as vital progress for women’s rights. Abortion was decriminalised […]

Humanists UK coordinates largest ever UK human rights coalition, to defend Human Rights Act and judicial review

An unprecedented coalition of over 220 organisations have spoken out against the UK Government’s new plans to reduce the scope of judicial review. They have together formed a coalition to defend human rights and judicial review from Government attack. The coalition, established by Humanists UK, is believed to be the largest human rights coalition in […]

Government publishes Bill designed to limit judicial review

The Government has today published its plans to shake up judges’ powers and limit the public’s ability to challenge official decisions. The Judicial Review and Courts Bill has been introduced into Parliament. It aims to change the process of judicial review – a mechanism that allows citizens to legally challenge the Government’s decisions. Humanists UK […]

Humanist peers press Government for action on illegal schools

Humanist members from across the House of Lords have today pressed the UK Government to say when it will close illegal religious schools. A number of such schools are operating in England by exploiting loopholes in the law. Humanists UK, which leads the national campaign for their closure, has welcomed the comments. It said the […]

Ofsted blasts faith school for book saying gay people should be put to death

A private Muslim school has received a damning report from Ofsted after a book saying gay and lesbian people should be ‘put to death’ was found in the school library. Humanists UK has described the discovery as ‘deeply alarming’. It said the case demonstrates the urgent need for better regulation of private faith schools. Inspectors […]

New research maps global assisted dying laws for the first time

A new study into worldwide laws on assisted dying has found that more than 250 million people have gained the right to die since MPs last debated proposals on changing the law. The research, carried out by Humanists UK, has been launched in map form, the first ever map of its kind, and demonstrates how […]

Dweud wrth Lywodraeth Cymru bod perygl y bydd yr addysg Crefydd, Gwerthoedd a Moeseg newydd yn parhau i eithrio dyneiddiaeth

Mae Dyneiddwyr Cymru wedi dweud wrth Lywodraeth Cymru bod perygl y bydd y canllawiau newydd ar addysgu Crefydd, Gwerthoedd a Moeseg yn parhau i eithrio dyneiddiaeth. Cafodd Deddf Cwricwlwm ac Asesu (Cymru) gydsyniad brenhinol ym mis Ebrill. O dan y Ddeddf, mae’n rhaid i addysg Crefydd, Gwerthoedd a Moeseg – yr enw newydd ar gyfer […]

New RVE guidance risks continuing exclusion of humanism, Wales Humanists tells Government

New guidance on teaching Religion, Values, and Ethics (RVE) risks continuing to exclude humanism, Wales Humanists has told Welsh Government. The Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act received royal assent in April. Under the Act, RVE – the new name for religious education – must include teaching about ‘non-religious philosophical convictions’. The Act also says that […]

Compassion, curiosity, and a hand to hold: Interview with humanist pastoral carer Pippa Swan

Pippa Swan is a humanist pastoral carer in Northern Ireland and volunteer for the Non-Religious Pastoral Support Network. Pippa is the one of the first people to have ever provided care in a Northern Ireland prison, and is also the first person in Northern Ireland to study the MA in Existential and Humanist Pastoral Care. […]

Integrated Education Bill passes second stage in Northern Ireland Assembly

The Integrated Education Bill, introduced by Kellie Armstrong MLA, has passed its second stage in the Northern Ireland Assembly. This Bill, if passed into law, would mean that all new schools opened in Northern Ireland will by default integrate both Protestant and Catholic communities in staff, pupils, and governance structures. It was supported by a […]

Opposition calls for immediate legal recognition of humanist marriages

The Labour frontbench has called for immediate legal recognition of humanist marriages in England and Wales. It made the call following the legal recognition of outdoor civil marriages, but the failure to deliver any similar much-needed reform for humanists. On 1 July the UK Government changed the law to allow outdoor civil marriages until at […]

New book on humanist pastoral care sent to every UK hospital, hospice, and prison

A groundbreaking new practical introduction to non-religious pastoral care has been sent to over 1,300 hospitals, hospices, and prisons across the UK. The new book, Being There: Responses in Humanist Pastoral Care, is by Joanna Mutlow. It is an accessible introduction to non-religious pastoral support, rooted in her practical experience providing care to people through […]

Humanists UK at UN calls for repeal of Mauritania’s blasphemy and apostasy laws

Today, Humanists UK called on Mauritania to repeal its blasphemy and apostasy laws at the UN Human Rights Council. Humanists UK’s Public Affairs Manager Karen Wright made the video intervention during a debate on the Universal Periodic Review of Mauritania. In her comments, she said: ‘We are deeply concerned that apostasy and blasphemy laws have […]

It’s good to talk, so we’re here to listen: Interview with humanist pastoral carer Ciarán McWilliams

Ciarán McWilliams is a humanist pastoral carer and the Northern Ireland Regional Coordinator for the Non-Religious Pastoral Support Network. As well as recently becoming the first humanist pastoral carer to be appointed to a rugby team, he’s also the first person ever to provide humanist care in Northern Ireland’s high-security prison, Maghaberry. We caught up […]

UK opposition adopts progressive children’s and human rights policies

In a major shift, David Lammy MP, Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, announced that the UK opposition will adopt several new policies on strengthening human rights. Humanists UK has welcomed the news, as all the new policies are ones that humanists have long campaigned for. The new policies include the […]

Opt-out organ donation bill laid before Northern Ireland Assembly

The Organ and Tissue Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill has been laid before the Northern Ireland Assembly. This Bill, if passed into law, would introduce a ‘soft opt-out’ system of organ donation. This means that people will in general be presumed to have wanted to donate their organs after death. That is, unless they have opted […]

Humanists UK Chief Executive leads NHS England national memorial to workers who died during pandemic

Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson has today led the national memorial ceremony organised by NHS England to remember NHS workers who have died during the pandemic. The memorial was also dedicated to the tireless work of NHS staff in caring for the 400,000 Covid patients who have been hospitalised. The memorial took place in […]

Humanists UK and Rene Cassin at UN demand action to prevent genocide

  Humanists UK and the Jewish human rights charity René Cassin have made a joint intervention today at the UN Human Rights Council. They have expressed their deep concern over the growing evidence of ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Myanmar’s Rakhine State and Muslims in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The intervention was made […]

Humanists UK and BPAS call for home abortion pills at UN

Humanists UK and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) have made a joint intervention at the UN Human Rights Council. They expressed concern at widespread failure to guarantee reproductive and sexual health rights, including access to abortion services, during the pandemic. The intervention was made by video by Humanists UK Campaigns Officer Rachel Taggart-Ryan, during […]

Humanists UK and Ozanne Foundation call for action at UN on ‘conversion therapy’

Humanists UK and the Ozanne Foundation have made a joint intervention at the UN Human Rights Council. They called for greater collaboration between the UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and the Special Rapporteur on Religion or Belief, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, to end the practice […]

Victory! Gibraltar votes decisively to end draconian abortion restrictions

The people of Gibraltar have voted decisively in a territory-wide referendum to change their abortion law, removing some of the harshest restrictions in Europe. 62% of voters supported removing the penalty of life imprisonment for a woman seeking an abortion. Terminations will now become legally and safely accessible up to 12 weeks of gestation if […]

First humanist appointed as pastoral carer to rugby team in Northern Ireland

Ciarán McWilliams has been appointed as the first humanist pastoral carer to a rugby team in Northern Ireland. He will provide emotional and spiritual support to players, coaches, and fans at Ophir Rugby Football Club based in Mallusk. Most rugby teams in Northern Ireland are aligned to either the Protestant or the Catholic community. Ophir, […]

Support for assisted dying surging in Channel Islands and Isle of Man, according to new poll

At least eight in ten people favour assisted dying reform across Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man, according to the first poll ever conducted on the matter in the three jurisdictions. The findings have been welcomed by Humanists UK and Channel Islands Humanists. Both campaign to legalise assisted dying for the terminally ill and […]

New faith school gets approval because councillors told it’s ‘this school or no school’

A new Church of England secondary school has been given the green light to open in Kingston upon Thames. But it only happened after councillors were told it was their ‘only option’ to meet an urgent need for school places. Humanists UK campaigns for inclusive schools that are suitable for all children regardless of religion […]

78% of Jersey’s assisted dying citizens’ jury back changing the law

Jersey’s Citizens’ Jury on Assisted Dying has overwhelmingly recommended the legalisation of a right to die. Humanists UK gave oral and written expert evidence to the panel, which has published its initial report today. Humanists UK and Channel Islands Humanists have welcomed the publication as a major turning point for assisted dying. It expects the […]

Hundreds come together for Humanists UK Convention celebrating World Humanist Day

Around 700 households joined Humanists UK’s 2021 Convention online on Saturday 19 June, making it the best-attended Convention to date. In welcoming attendees, Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson took the opportunity to note the charity’s varied achievements in the previous 12 months, in the teeth of the pandemic, thanking members for their continued support […]

Assisted Dying Bill introduced to the Scottish Parliament

New assisted dying legislation has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament. It has been prompted by Humanist Society Scotland and Friends At The End – Humanists UK’s Assisted Dying Coalition partners, and Dignity in Dying Scotland. Humanists UK has welcomed the news. Under the proposed law, doctors will be able to help terminally ill adults […]

Temporary marriage reform excludes humanist marriages

From July legal recognition will be extended to outdoor civil marriages in England and Wales. The UK Government has announced that it will change the law to allow this until at least April 2022. But it has made no announcement about legal recognition of humanist marriages. Humanists UK has called for their legal recognition to […]

Northern Ireland Humanists opposes anti-abortion Bill

Northern Ireland Humanists has called on the Committee for Health to advise the Northern Ireland Assembly against the Severe Fetal Impairment Abortion (Amendment) Bill. The Bill seeks to curtail hard-fought abortion rights in Northern Ireland, overriding patients’ control over their reproductive and sexual health. Northern Ireland Humanists stated that, if made law, the Bill would […]

Humanists UK mourns right to die campaigner Paul Lamb, who took his case to the Supreme Court

Humanists UK is sad to report the death of its patron and long-standing friend, the humanist and assisted dying campaigner, Paul Lamb. Admired for his keen sense of humour, fortitude, and bravery, Paul Lamb was one of the most prominent activists for the right to die in the UK. In 1990, he was severely injured […]

RSE lessons to restart at NI primary after Church-appointed governors resign

Relationships and sexuality education (RSE) lessons are set to restart at a Northern Ireland primary school following the resignation of two Church-appointed governors earlier this month. The news has been welcomed by Northern Ireland Humanists, which campaigns for comprehensive, fact-based RSE lessons for all pupils regardless of background. Pupils at Killinchy Primary School in County […]

150 today! Humanists UK celebrates the law that abolished religious discrimination in universities

The Universities Tests Act, which ended religious discrimination in admissions and employment at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Durham is 150 years old today. The Act marked an important step in advancing freedom of religion or belief in the UK. But a century and a half later, state-funded schools are still permitted to select […]

Humanist and religious groups call on Prime Minister to protect human rights

Humanists have joined forces with religious groups across the UK to call on the Prime Minister to protect the Human Rights Act 1998. They have done so because of concern about measures possibly being introduced that would make it harder for people to secure their rights. This follows the Government’s Independent Human Rights Act Review, […]

UK Government slams Catholic RSE resource over ‘gender stereotypes’ that ‘could normalise non-consensual behaviour’

The UK Government has condemned a Catholic relationships and sex education (RSE) resource, arguing it should not be used in schools. It says it has ‘serious concerns’ and it ‘would be hard for a school to present [it] in a way that is consistent with the… statutory guidance.’ It contains ‘gender stereotypes’ that ‘could normalise […]

Growing marriage backlog points to need for humanist marriage recognition

More and more couples having humanist weddings in England and Wales are expressing their frustration at the growing waiting times before they can also have a civil marriage and so be married in the eyes of the law. The backlogs in many parts of the country are a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the […]

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

The High Court in Northern Ireland has granted a non-religious parent and child permission to challenge laws requiring faith-based Christian religious education (RE) and collective worship in all schools. Instead they want the curriculum and school assemblies to be taught in a way inclusive of those of other religions and beliefs. Northern Ireland Humanists campaigns […]

Humanists UK delighted to announce two new patrons: Felicity Hannah and Mike Little

Humanists UK has welcomed two new patrons: the co-founder of WordPress, Mike Little and the award-winning journalist Felicity Hannah. Mike Little is the co-founder of the widely used website building tool, WordPress. As an open source project, WordPress has since been developed by a huge worldwide community and today powers more than 40% of the […]

Humanists UK mourns assisted dying campaigner Noel Conway

Humanists UK is sad to mark the loss of its longstanding member and assisted dying campaigner Noel Conway, who has died aged 71 after removing his ventilator. Noel suffered from Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and was dependent upon a ventilator to breathe for 23 hours a day. In 2018 he brought an ultimately unsuccessful challenge […]

Massive rise in non-religious identity in Northern Ireland

The share of adults in Northern Ireland with no religion is surging, according to the latest data from the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey. The results of the 2020 survey have been published today. 27% of respondents said they had no religion – an increase of 7% on 2019. This latest surge means that […]

Humanists UK calls for broad curriculum in schools to protect freedom of thought

Humanists UK has called upon all states to make sure the school curriculum is critical, objective, and pluralistic, particularly in its approach to religions and humanism. This is necessary to safeguard the right to freedom of thought. Humanists UK made this call in response to a consultation issued by Dr Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special […]

Most senior appointment yet for a humanist pastoral carer at an NHS Trust

Lindsay van Dijk has been appointed to head up the chaplaincy and pastoral care team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which provides person-centred pastoral and spiritual care. As a head of service role, this is the most senior role a humanist pastoral carer has ever held in the NHS. She is also the […]

Church-appointed governors at NI primary resign following row about RSE

Two Church-appointed governors have resigned from the Board of a Northern Ireland primary school following a row involving relationships and sexuality education (RSE). The dispute prevented pupils receiving RSE lessons for over 18 months. Northern Ireland Humanists – which campaigns for comprehensive RSE in all schools – has welcomed the news. It says that it […]

Llywodraeth Cymru yn ymrwymo i wahardd ‘therapi trosi’

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi cyhoeddi y bydd yn gwahardd yr hyn y’i gelwir yn ‘therapi trosi’. Mae Humanists UK, sydd wedi ymgyrchu ers degawdau dros waharddiad, wedi croesawu’r cyhoeddiad. Mae’r newyddion yn dilyn cyhoeddiad Llywodraeth y DU fis diwethaf ei bod yn bwriadu cynnig cyfraith i wahardd therapi trosi o fewn y flwyddyn nesaf. Yn […]

Welsh Government commits to banning ‘conversion therapy’

The Welsh Government has announced that it will ban so called ‘conversion therapy’. Humanists UK, which has campaigned for decades for a ban, has welcomed the announcement. The news follows the UK Government announcing last month that it intends to propose a law to ban conversion therapy within the next year. The Northern Ireland Assembly […]

Christian Institute’s legal case against conversion therapy ban ‘fundamentally flawed’

The Christian Institute has threatened legal action against the Northern Ireland Executive if a ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy’ is introduced that includes what it terms ‘prayer’. The Institute says such a ban would breach the rights of Christians. But Northern Ireland Humanists believes such a case may be ‘fundamentally flawed’. This is because manifestations […]

Humanist Climate Action calls for Government to adopt more robust environmental principles

Humanist Climate Action (HCA) has called on the UK Government to rethink its approach to environmental policy in response to a consultation by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). DEFRA plans to put five environmental principles into law. But, HCA believes these principles are too limited. They would not be legally binding. […]

Bill proposing all new Northern Ireland schools should be integrated passes first stage

A Bill that would require new schools in Northern Ireland to be integrated passed the first stage in the Assembly yesterday. Northern Ireland Humanists has campaigned for a single system of education that teaches pupils from different backgrounds together for many years. It has welcomed the news. Integrated schools try to balance the proportion of […]

Humanists and Christians urge as many as possible to get vaccinated against Covid-19

Humanist and Christian leaders have come together to urge as many people as possible to get vaccinated against Covid-19. The call is by Churches Together in England and the Scottish Church Leaders Forum on behalf of their around 60 member churches, and by prominent figures in the UK’s humanist movement. It is being made now […]

School forced to amend ‘misogynistic’ Catholic RSE resource to pass Ofsted inspection

A school using a Catholic resource saying ‘men are created to be initiators’ and women ‘receiver-responders’ in sexual relationships has told Ofsted it had to ‘change the language’. It said this was because of ‘concerns about how the roles and responsibilities of men and women within relationships were described.’ Humanists UK was responsible for exposing […]

School to no longer show Prophet Mohammed

Batley Grammar School will no longer use images of the Prophet Muhammed when teaching Religious Studies (RS). That was the conclusion announced today of the School’s investigation into controversy over such an image being used in a recent lesson. The School has said it will take this approach because ‘it is committed to ensuring that […]

Bill to replace compulsory worship with inclusive assemblies passes first stage in Lords

A Bill proposing to replace compulsory religious worship in English schools with inclusive assemblies has been introduced in the House of Lords. The Education (Assemblies) Bill was tabled by All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) Vice-Chair Baroness Burt with support from Humanists UK. If it becomes law, schools without a religious character will be required to […]

School row over relationships and sex education shows problems with Church-appointed governors

More than 50 parents with children at Killinchy Primary School in County Down have written to the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Education Committee to express concerns about the way the school is governed. The letter comes after lessons in relationships and sex education (RSE) were cancelled because of a row involving a Church of Ireland-appointed governor. […]

Assisted dying for terminally ill bill passes first Lords stage

A new Assisted Dying Bill has been introduced in the House of Lords. It would allow patients who are of sound mind and have less than six months to live to be assisted to end their lives. Humanists UK campaigns for legal assisted dying for both those with terminal and incurable illnesses. It has welcomed […]

‘Harassed. Attacked. Arrested.’ Humanists in Parliament hear about global worrying rise in non-religious persecution

Yesterday, members of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) heard moving testimonies from three victims of non-religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nigeria, as well as from the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief on the extent of the problem more generally and the UK Government on what it is doing to […]

Campaign launched against ‘grossly unfair’ faith school admissions in Oldham

A group campaigning for an end to ‘grossly unfair’ faith-based admissions in local schools has launched in Oldham. Fair Schools for Oldham, is calling for religious selection to be scrapped in all local schools. Humanists UK has been advising the group. It has welcomed the launch, saying it demonstrates the strength of feeling against discriminatory […]

Ofsted survey: 94% of parents say faith is not important when choosing a school

94% of parents do not consider the faith-based affiliation of a school to be an important factor in choosing where to send their children. That is according to Ofsted, which has published the figures in its Parents Annual Survey 2021. Humanists UK says they show that the fact that a third of state-funded schools are […]

Charity Commission still investigating charities operating suspected illegal schools five years after being alerted to them

The Charity Commission is still investigating eight charities that are suspected by the Department for Education of operating as unregistered faith schools, in spite of Humanists UK complaining about them five years ago. Humanists UK has expressed dismay that children in these settings have continued to be denied an education while the investigation has dragged […]

Faith schools must teach RSE in ‘a neutral, factual way’, says new Welsh Government guidance

Relationships and sexuality education (RSE) must be taught in ‘a neutral, factual way’ at all schools, including faith schools, says new Welsh Government guidance. RSE must also be ‘inclusive and reflect diversity’ and the new RSE Code explicitly refers to ‘including LGBTQ+ lives’. Wales Humanists – which has long campaigned for an end to faith-based […]

Over 700 extra organs donated in England after one year of opt-out law, as Isle of Man passes similar law

Today marks one year since the Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act came into force in England. The law means that all adults, with some exceptions, will be considered organ donors unless they choose to opt-out. As a result of this change 296 people donated 714 organs for transplantation which wouldn’t previously have been donated. This […]

Northern Ireland must scrap ‘unacceptable’ faith-based teacher discrimination law, say MLAs

TAKE ACTION: Live in Northern Ireland? Give your support to the Bill to remove faith-based exemptions to fair employment law by completing MLA Chris Lyttle’s consultation. The deadline for responses is 10 June 2021.  MLAs have unanimously passed a motion asking the First Minister and deputy First Minister to ‘urgently’ bring forth legislation to end […]

No sex education at faith school after all pupils are withdrawn

Humanists UK has expressed alarm after a recent Ofsted report revealed that every single pupil at a Charedi Jewish faith school in Gateshead has been withdrawn from sex education by their parents. Ateres Girls High School is a private Charedi girls’ school in Gateshead with around 250 pupils. It has failed to meet the Independent […]

Government would be ‘pleased’ to see Parliamentary assisted dying inquiry – report

The Government would reportedly be pleased to see a parliamentary inquiry into the law banning assisted dying in England and Wales, it has been reported. The Telegraph reports that the Government has no intention of instigating its own inquiry into assisted dying, but also quotes a senior source at the Ministry of Justice as saying […]

Over 500 attend launch of Humanist Climate Action

On Friday over 500 people joined a dazzling lineup of scientists, authors, and broadcasters concerned by the threat of man-made climate change to discuss strategies, approaches, and ambitions to save our planet from a looming ecological crisis. The event, entitled Climate Change: a Human Problem – a Human Solution, was organised to mark the official […]

CofE school guidance claims compulsory worship can be ‘inclusive’

New Church of England guidance on how Church schools should carry out compulsory collective worship claims such worship can be ‘inclusive’ when the view of most people is that this plainly cannot be the case, Humanists UK has said. The guidance is in fact ‘completely contradictory’ and not fit for purpose in a diverse society. […]

UK Government ignores calls to stop faith schools refusing to admit children in care

The UK Government has ignored calls to scrap a policy allowing English faith schools to refuse to admit children who are or were in care. Instead they can prioritise other children ‘of the faith’. Humanists UK has slammed the decision, saying it puts religious privilege ahead of the right to education for the most vulnerable. […]

New Lords Bill seeks to legalise assisted dying

A Bill that proposes to legalise assisted dying for adults of sound mind who have six or fewer months left to live has secured seventh place in the House of Lords Private Members’ Bill ballot. The Bill is being put forward by Baroness Meacher, who is the Chair of Dignity in Dying. Humanists UK, which […]

Humanists give evidence to Jersey’s assisted dying citizens’ jury

Humanists UK has given evidence to Jersey’s citizens’ jury examining assisted dying, calling for the change in the law. Humanists UK’s evidence centred around the importance of respecting human beings’ personal autonomy, and recognising the need to cover both those with terminal and those with incurable illnesses in any legislation. Humanists UK’s Chief Executive Andrew […]

New Bill proposes to replace compulsory worship with inclusive assemblies

A new Bill that proposes to replace compulsory religious worship in English schools with inclusive assemblies will be considered in the UK Parliament, after being drawn ninth in the House of Lords Private Members’ Bill ballot today. The Education (Assemblies) Bill was tabled by All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) Vice-Chair Baroness Burt with support from […]

High-quality RE includes teaching about humanism, says new Ofsted report

High-quality religious education (RE) includes teaching about a ‘range of religious and non-religious ways of living’, including humanism, a new Ofsted report has said. Humanists UK has welcomed the news, saying it makes it clearer than ever that good RE must include teaching about humanism on an equal footing with world religions. Published today, the […]

Humanists UK warns Government’s New Immigration Plan will harm non-religious asylum seekers

Humanists UK has expressed concern about proposals put forward by the Home Office in a consultation on its New Plan for Immigration, which would impose unfair and undue barriers upon those seeking asylum in the UK after fleeing persecution in their countries of origin, including humanists who face the death penalty in 13 countries for […]

Government to bring forward legislation to ban conversion therapy in England and Wales

The UK Government has announced that it will bring forward legislation to ban the practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ in England and Wales in the forthcoming year, following reportedly a public consultation on the matter. Humanists UK, which has campaigned for decades for a ban, has welcomed the announcement, but warned that in order to […]

Humanists UK launches My Mortality, a collection of humanist reflections on death

In connection with Dying Matters Awareness Week, Humanists UK has launched My Mortality, a collection of 50 personal reflections on death and dying from a diverse range of humanists. Dying Matters Awareness Week (10-16 May) provides an opportunity to consider the way we approach and think about death and opens up conversations about dying and […]

New sex education programme for Catholic primaries describes sex and puberty as a ‘gift from God’

Northern Ireland Humanists has expressed alarm about a new Catholic RSE resource describing sex and puberty as ‘a gift from God’ and claiming puberty shows ‘we are perfectly designed by God to procreate with him’. The resource, called Flourish, was developed by the Irish Bishops Conference for Catholic primary schools and is designed for children […]

Government’s judicial review plans risk irreversibly damaging human rights, warns Humanists UK

Humanists UK has criticised proposals that would severely curtail judicial review – a process that allows citizens to legally challenge government decisions –  in response to a consultation by the Ministry of Justice. In its submission, Humanists UK stated that the Government’s plans to carve out vast areas of decision-making from judicial scrutiny – which […]

Party leaders give thanks to humanists at Humanists UK 125th anniversary

Cross-party messages from across the UK have been delivered to mark the 125th anniversary of the founding of Humanists UK. The leaders of the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, and of the Green Party of England and Wales, as well as the First Minister of Scotland and Lord Greenhalgh, the Minister responsible for UK Government relations […]

Wales Humanists publishes parties’ policies on humanist issues

Wales Humanists has published a table comparing the major parties’ policies on some of the most important issues to humanists – including inclusive education, religious discrimination in healthcare, and humanist marriages. It is also asking people to write to their candidates ahead of Thursday’s election, to make sure the voices of humanists are heard this […]

Health Secretary calls for ‘high quality public debate’ on assisted dying

UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock MP has told parliamentarians that the facts underpinning the assisted dying debate need to be ‘properly addressed and published’. Speaking at a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Choice At the End of Life, he revealed that he has recently written to the […]

Welsh Act makes curriculum fully inclusive of humanism

A Welsh law that will make the curriculum fully inclusive of humanism has received royal assent – meaning it is now an Act. Wales Humanists has welcomed the historic Act, calling it an enormous success for inclusive education. Humanists UK has called for the rest of the UK to follow Wales’s lead. The Curriculum and […]

DfE allows faith school unlawfully segregating boys and girls to split into single-sex schools

A private Muslim school slammed by Ofsted for unlawfully segregating boys and girls has been given the green light to split into two single-sex schools. Humanists UK has said it is ‘astonishing’ that the school will be allowed to continue disadvantaging girls simply by officially separating into two schools and carrying on the same sexist […]

Ombudsman concludes faith school’s admissions investigation looks biased

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has upheld a complaint against a Charedi Jewish school after members of the panel appointed to investigate claims of unfairness and impropriety in its admissions policy were found to have family, professional, and financial links to the school. Humanists UK said the case shows why schools should not […]

Government announces more than £2 million in funding enabling religious take-over of yet more schools

Humanists UK has expressed alarm about the potential for a religious power-grab in schools with and without a religious character after the UK Government announced it is allocating more than £2 million in funding to increase the number of schools in faith academies in England. During a speech to the Confederation of School Trusts, Education […]

Humanists UK Convention returns for 2021

Humanists UK has this week announced Humanists UK Convention 2021, taking place entirely online on 19 June, the weekend of World Humanist Day. Joining Humanists UK President Alice Roberts at Convention 2021 will be Sathnam Sanghera, Callum Brown, Stephen Smartt, Samira Ahmed, Jim Al-Khalili, and others, for a wide-ranging yet extremely focused programme of talks […]

New resource reveals the forgotten history of the first ever global anti-racism summit

The new Humanist Heritage resource launched this week has revealed the forgotten history of humanism and humanists in the UK. New discoveries include fascinating details of the First Universal Races Congress, which was held in London in 1911, and was the first ever global summit organised to tackle racism, ‘with a view to encouraging between […]

Humanists come together to call for Mubarak Bala’s release on first anniversary of arrest

Today marks one year since President of the Nigerian Humanist Association, Mubarak Bala, was arrested, accused of being ‘provocative and annoying to Muslims’ on Facebook. He is currently being arbitrarily detained in Kano State, a region that allows for the operation of Sharia courts alongside secular courts, where riots and murder are not uncommon for […]

Council relaunches faith school consultation after claims it is ‘the only option’ to meet need for places

TAKE ACTION: Live in Kingston? Respond to the consultation by Friday 21 May. A public consultation on whether a new Church of England school should open in Kingston upon Thames has been relaunched after Humanists UK objected to irregularities in how local people were consulted about the proposal the first time around. It seems likely […]

New resource unearths the UK’s humanist history as Humanists UK celebrates 125 years

For too long, the history of humanism and of people motivated to do great things on the basis of humanist beliefs and values has been little represented and profoundly under-recognised in the UK. But that all looks set to change, as an in-depth new resource called Humanist Heritage has launched today, to celebrate the 125th […]

Ofsted snap inspects school teaching women are ‘receiver-responders’ in sex

Ofsted has reportedly carried out a snap inspection of RSE provision at a school using a Catholic resource saying ‘men are created to be initiators’ and women ‘receiver-responders’ in sexual relationships, after Humanists UK lodged complaints with the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofsted. Following an initial exposé in January, Humanists UK repeatedly raised concerns […]

MPs unanimously pass motion declaring Uighur persecution in China ‘genocide’

Members of the House of Commons have unanimously passed a motion declaring that genocide is occurring in the Xinjiang region of China against the Uighur people. This is the first time that the UK Parliament has made such a declaration, following similar statements made by Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States earlier this year. […]

Northern Ireland First Minister: Faith-based teacher discrimination law ‘needs to be dealt with’

An exemption to equality law allowing schools in Northern Ireland to employ teachers on religious grounds ‘needs to be dealt with’, Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster has said. Northern Ireland Humanists – which has recently met with MLAs from across the political spectrum to inform them of the problems with this form of discrimination […]

CofE and Board of Deputies anti-racism reports overlook faith school admissions

Church of England-run state schools that religiously select admit 2.2 percentage points fewer Asian pupils than those that don’t, while around two-thirds of Jewish schools have no Asian pupils in them at all, despite the figure for children from such backgrounds in the local area being 12%. But today’s landmark reports published by the Church […]

‘How humanist activists shaped society’: event to celebrate 125 years of Humanists UK

On 30 April, Humanists UK will be celebrating its 125th anniversary with a special event featuring historians and humanist activists who together will present a tour of the organisation’s long history of working, successfully, towards a kinder, more rational society. The event will take place via Zoom on 30 April, exactly 125 years on from […]

Humanist marriages gain legal recognition in Guernsey

Humanist marriages have gained legal recognition in Guernsey, and Gary Vaudin, the first humanist celebrant, has been authorised to perform and solemnise marriage ceremonies throughout the Bailiwick. Channel Islands Humanists has expressed delight at the news. A humanist wedding is a non-religious ceremony conducted by a humanist celebrant who shares the beliefs and values of […]

Northern Ireland Assembly backs ‘conversion therapy’ ban

The Northern Ireland Assembly has passed a motion in support of a ban on so called ‘conversion therapy.’ The motion, which was put forward by Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MLAs Doug Beattie and John Stewart, calls on the Minister for Communities to bring forward legislation to ban these practices within this session of the Assembly, […]

Humanists UK calls on Ofcom to guarantee equal BBC coverage of the non-religious

Humanists UK has called on Ofcom to make sure the BBC provides equal coverage for and about the non-religious to its religious programming, in its response to a consultation on the future of public service media. In its submission to Ofcom, the BBC regulator, Humanists UK acknowledged the importance of public service media in creating […]

Irish President slams Northern Ireland’s segregated school system in light of violence

The President of the Republic of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, has condemned the segregation of school children in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland Humanists – which has long campaigned for a single system of education free from religious division – has welcomed the news, saying Northern Ireland must move to a single, inclusive system of education […]

Remembering Frank Judd (1935–2021)

Humanists UK is saddened to hear of the death of former Labour Party peer, Frank Judd. Lord Judd represented Portsmouth as an MP between 1966 and 1979, and served as a minister in the Wilson and Callaghan governments. He held a variety of posts in government, serving as minister for the Royal Navy and overseas […]

Stormont Education Committee Chair proposes bill to scrap faith-based discrimination against teachers

An exemption to equality law allowing schools in Northern Ireland to employ teachers on religious grounds may be challenged in Stormont, after the Chair of Stormont’s Education Committee launched a consultation into a proposed private members’ bill to ‘tackle’ the issue. The bill is being proposed by Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle. Northern Ireland Humanists – […]

Humanist MPs condemn religious loophole in proposed conversion therapy ban

Humanist MPs from across the House of Commons have condemned comments made by the Prime Minister that the long-awaited legal ban on so called ‘conversion therapy’ will contain a loophole allowing these practices to still occur when it could be said to be ‘appropriate pastoral support (including prayer) in churches and other religious settings in […]

Celebrating the life and legacy of George Holyoake: Inventor of secularism and humanist pioneer

This year is Humanists UK’s 125th anniversary: a celebration of the rich history of humanism and the movement that gave rise to Humanists UK. This history includes the traditions of Owenism and its ‘rational religion’, of positivism and its celebration of the achievements of humanity, and of secularism – a term coined by George Jacob […]

Decision to deny humanists voice on RE in Southampton to be retaken after legal threat

Southampton Council has agreed to retake a decision blocking humanists from becoming full members of the local RE committee following a threat of legal action. The Council made the original decision following consultation with religious members of the committee, which saw a Church of England representative refer to the possible inclusion as ‘a Trotskyist move’. […]

Teachers’ union votes ‘overwhelmingly’ to end Northern Ireland teacher discrimination

The NASUWT teachers’ union voted ‘overwhelmingly’ at their annual conference this weekend to end the exemption to equality legislation that allows for discrimination against teachers in Northern Ireland based on their religion. The motion called on the NASUWT to lobby the Northern Ireland Assembly to remove Article 71 of the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern […]

School safeguarding review must consider role of faith-based RSE in rape culture, says Humanists UK

An urgent review of school safeguarding by school inspectorate Ofsted must consider the role faith-based relationships and sex education (RSE) and the resources used to teach it play in exacerbating rape culture, Humanists UK has said. Humanists UK has recently raised repeated concerns about one particular Catholic RSE resource – called A Fertile Heart – […]

Latest British Social Attitudes survey shows huge generational surge in the non-religious

The latest British Social Attitudes Survey has shown that the share of the population belonging to no religion has continued to grow, now standing at 53%, with 12% Anglicans, 7% Catholics, 18% other Christians, and 9% all other religions. More than that, it also shows that the share of non-religious people will continue to rise […]

Henry Marsh announces advanced cancer, joins 56 MPs and peers in calling for assisted dying inquiry

Do you agree with Henry and the 56 MPs and peers? Then please write to your MP today to ask them to support an inquiry into assisted dying. Acclaimed neurosurgeon and bestselling author Dr Henry Marsh has revealed he may well have only a short time left to live, after being diagnosed with advanced prostate […]

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

Humanists UK is launching season three of its hit-podcast What I Believe, bringing listeners the life philosophies and worldviews of well-known humanists including Richard Dawkins, Carol Smillie, Jim Al-Khalili, and many, many more. Each week, host Andrew Copson speaks to a humanist in the public eye about what they believe, to understand more about the […]

Government to ‘remind schools of their duty’ to carry out Christian collective worship

In a departure from its previous approach, the UK Government has said that if it is made aware of English schools breaching a requirement to carry out a daily act of worship, they will be ‘investigated’ and ‘reminded of their duty on this matter’. Humanists UK – which has long campaigned for compulsory school worship […]

Government fails to condemn ‘rape culture’ RSE resource used in Catholic schools

The UK and Welsh Governments have failed to condemn an RSE resource saying that men were ‘created to initiate sexual relationships’ and women to be ‘receiver-responders’, with the UK Government saying they don’t want to get involved in commenting on individual resources. The Catholic Education Service (CES), which oversees Catholic schools in England and Wales, […]

Government to consult on introducing labelling for non-stunned meat

The Government has confirmed that it intends to launch a consultation later this year into the introduction of labelling for meat products to indicate if the animal was stunned before slaughter. Humanists UK has welcomed the news, as it supports the introduction of such labels. Labelling will enable consumers to make informed ethical choices about […]

Archdiocese: RSE resource saying women are ‘receiver-responders’ in sexual relationships ‘authentically reflects Catholic teaching’

A faith-based RSE resource saying the contraceptive pill is dangerous, that gay and lesbian people cannot marry and must entirely abstain from sex, and that men were ‘created to initiate sexual relationships’ and women to be ‘receiver-responders’ has been defended by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cardiff on the grounds it ‘authentically reflects Catholic teaching’. […]

Teacher suspended over depiction of Muhammad in Batley Grammar School lesson

Controversy has erupted after a teacher showed pupils an image or images of Muhammad in a lesson at Batley Grammar School on Monday. This led to Muslim parents protesting outside the school yesterday and today. The teacher in question has been suspended by the school, which has apologised ‘unequivocally’. Reports from parents say the cartoons […]

Jersey abolishes unnecessary wait times for abortions

Yesterday, the States of Jersey approved legislation, spearheaded by Channel Islands Humanists committee member and Deputy of the States of Jersey Louise Doublet, to abolish the requirement for women and girls to wait seven days between two medical consultations when accessing abortion services. The States of Jersey voted in favour of the legislation by 40 […]

Catholic school found to breach Admissions Code over low priority for children in care

A Catholic school admissions policy that not only prioritises children from Catholic backgrounds but also children from other Christian backgrounds over children who are or were in care breaches the School Admissions Code, the admissions tribunal has found. However, despite acknowledging that the school is ‘less ethnically diverse’ and ‘has lower levels of [pupils on] […]

Muslim groups encourage schools to ignore Council guidance on LGBT-inclusive RSE

Muslim groups in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets are urging local schools to ignore guidance on relationships and sex education (RSE) issued by the local council because they claim its LGBT-inclusive provisions do not reflect their faith. Humanists UK – which has campaigned for fully inclusive RSE for all children, regardless of background, for […]

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