International Humanist and Ethical Union

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International Humanist and Ethical Union
Formation 1952; 62 years ago (1952)
Region served Worldwide
Website www.iheu.org

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) is an umbrella organisation of humanist, atheist, rationalist, secular, skeptic, freethought and Ethical Culture organisations worldwide.[1] Founded in Amsterdam in 1952, in 2011 the IHEU consisted of 117 member organizations in 38 countries.[2] Julian Huxley (the first director of UNESCO) presided over the founding Congress of the IHEU.

In 2002, the IHEU General Assembly unanimously adopted the Amsterdam Declaration 2002[3] which represents the official defining statement of World Humanism. The Happy Human is the official symbol of the IHEU. IHEU has Special Consultative Status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).[4]

IHEU holds a World Humanist Congress every three years, hosted by one of its members. The next is to be held in Sao Paolo, Brazil, in 2017.

Minimum Statement[edit]

All member organisations of the International Humanist and Ethical Union are required by IHEU bylaw 5.1[5] to accept the IHEU Minimum Statement on Humanism:

Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.

History[edit]

Amsterdam 1952 - IHEU founding congress[edit]

Five Humanist organisations, the American Ethical Union, American Humanist Association, British Ethical Union (now the British Humanist Association), Vienna Ethical Society and the Dutch Humanist league hosted the founding congress of the IHEU in Amsterdam 22-27 August.[6][7]

On the last day of the congress five resolutions were passed, which included the fundamental of 'modern, ethical Humanism' - A resolution which would become to be know as the Amsterdam declaration [6]

Amsterdam Declaration 2002[edit]

On the 50th anniversary World Humanist congress in 2002 passed unanimously a resolution the "Amsterdam Declaration 2002" an update of the original Amsterdam Declaration [8]

Oxford Declaration 2014[edit]

At the 2014 World Humanist Congress a further resolution, "The Oxford Declaration on Freedom of Thought and Expression" was adopted.[9]

Strategy[edit]

The aim of the IHEU is to promote the identity of Humanism, including the name and symbol of Humanism. The IHEU promotes Humanism, defined by the Amsterdam Declaration 2002, by advocating freedom of religion. Goals of the IHEU range from achieving worldwide separation of religion and state to providing assistance in establishing humanist youth organisations around the globe.[1]

Activities[edit]

Based in London, England, the IHEU is an international NGO with Special Consultative Status with the United Nations, General Consultative Status at the Council of Europe, Observer Status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and maintains operational relations with UNESCO.

Core IHEU activities are:

  1. International conferences:[10] to bring Humanists together and inspire them
  2. Campaigns:[11] to promote and defend human rights and Humanist values
  3. Representation at international and regional bodies: to further Humanist goals
  4. Growth and Development: to support Humanist groups in developing countries
  5. Organisational Development: developing the youth movement, a women’s network, membership and support

IHEU has a wing for people aged 35 and under called the International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organisation (IHEYO).

The IHEU and Amnesty International led the campaign to try to obtain the release of Younus Shaikh.[12]

IHEU chairs and presidents[edit]

Years Position Holder(s)
1952-1975 Chairman Jaap van Praag  
1975-1979 Chairman troika Piet Thones Mihailo Marković Howard B. Radest
1979-1985 Bert Schwarz
1985-1986 Svetozar Stojanović
1986-1987 Rob Tielman Paul Kurtz
1987-1990 Levi Fragell
1990-1993 Kari Vigeland
1993-1994 Jane Wynne Willson
1994-1995  
1995-1996 Vern Bullough
1996-1998 President  
1998-2003 Levi Fragell
2003-2006 Roy W Brown
2006- Sonja Eggerickx


IHEU Awards[edit]

International Humanist Award[edit]

The International Humanist Award recognises outstanding achievements and contributions to the progress and defence of Humanism.

Distinguished Service to Humanism Award[edit]

The Distinguished Service to Humanism Award recognises the contributions of Humanist activists to International Humanism and to organised Humanism.

Other Awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About IHEU". IHEU. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  2. ^ "Humanist movement hits new high in membership.". iheu.org. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  3. ^ "Amsterdam Declaration 2002". IHEU. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  4. ^ "List of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council as of 1 September 2010". United Nations. Retrieved 2013-03-02. 
  5. ^ "IHEU's Bylaws". International Humanist and Ethical Union. Retrieved 2008-07-05. 
  6. ^ a b "1850-1952: The road to the founding congress". IHEU. Retrieved 2 November 2013. [dead link]
  7. ^ Kurtz, Paul (2001). Skepticism and humanism : the new paradigm. New Brunswick, NJ [u.a.]: Transaction Publishers. p. 259. ISBN 0765800519. 
  8. ^ Vandebrake, Mark. Freethought resource guide: a directory of information, literature, art, organizations, & internet sites related to secular humanism, skepticism, atheism, & agnosticism. Austin, Texas: CreateSpace. pp. Appendix A. ISBN 9781475020359. 
  9. ^ IHEU, Oxford Declaration on Freedom of Thought and Expression, 12 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "International Humanist and Ethical Union | Campaigns". Iheu.org. 2013-08-02. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  12. ^ "Ethical approach to a humane cause". The Hindu. January 28, 2004. 
  13. ^ https://humanism.org.uk/2014/08/09/gulalai-ismail-wins-international-humanist-year-award/
  14. ^ https://humanism.org.uk/2014/08/10/wole-soyinka-wins-international-humanist-award/
  15. ^ 2011-08-23 (2011-08-23). "International Humanist and Ethical Union | IHEU Awards for 2011". Iheu.org. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 

External links[edit]