Boris van der Ham

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Boris van der Ham
Boris van der Ham kenniseconomie monitor 2010.jpg
Former Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands
In office
23 May 2002 – 19 September 2012
Personal details
Born Boris van der Ham
(1973-08-29) 29 August 1973 (age 44)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Political party Democrats 66
Residence Amsterdam
Alma mater Maastricht Academy of Dramatic Arts (BA)
Occupation Politician, actor, writer, chairman Dutch Humanists

(in Dutch) Boris van der Ham website (English)

Boris van der Ham (born 29 August 1973) is a Dutch writer, humanist, former politician and actor. On 23 May 2002, he became a member of the Dutch House of Representatives for Democrats 66, a social liberal party. Since 24 November 2012, he has been the chairman of the Dutch Humanist Association.[1]


Currently, van der Ham has several presidencies in the field of media, culture, healthcare, education and in the private sector. Since 2012 he also serves as the voluntary chairman of the Dutch Humanist Association. He is an humanist-activist who stands up for the freedom of expression, and the rights of non-affiliated, atheists, humanists and freethinkers. In November 2014 he joined the Human Rights Committee of Liberal International.[2]

Early life[edit]

Van der Ham grew up in Nieuwkoop, and followed high school at Ashram College. He studied history at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences before being admitted to Maastricht Academy of Dramatic Arts. After graduating he worked as an actor for various theater groups. Van der Ham was a member of the Young Democrats from age 15, and from 1998 till 2000 he was its national chairman. After working as a Parliamentary assistant in the European Parliament as an assistant of Lousewies van der Laan and as PR-assistant in the Dutch Parliament, in 2002 he was elected a member of the Dutch House of Representatives.

Member of Parliament[edit]

In May 2002, van der Ham was elected Member of Parliament. He was re-elected in 2003, 2006 and 2010 with preferential votes. Together with members of GreenLeft and the Dutch Labour Party he drafted the bill that led to the first Dutch referendum in 2005 in two hundred years. It concerned the European Constitution. He drafted several bills for equal rights, for abolishing the ban on blasphemy in the Dutch Law, reform a ban on shopping on Sundays and a reform of the formation of the government. In November 2006, he also became vice-Parliamentary group leader. He focused on matters of education, drug policy, culture, mass media, economic affairs, environment and energy, social equality, democracy and freedom of speech. In 2007 he wrote a book "In the front row" (Voortrekkers en Baanbrekers) about the role of the Netherlands in the European Union after the referendum of 2005.[3] In 2012 he published a book "The Morality of Freedom" ("De Vrije Moraal") about the history and dilemmas of permissive societies.[4] In 2012 he decided not to run for a new term in Parliament, and said he wanted a political 'time-out'. He was MP until 19 September 2012.

Chairman of the Dutch Humanists[edit]

In November 2012 he was elected chair of the Dutch Humanist Association. In this position he is focusing on issues of freedom of speech, education and solidarity with atheists and humanists in Muslim-majority countries. Since January 2010, he has maintained a weekly vlog on YouTube about freethinking, humanism and liberalism.[5] On 9/11 2009 he produced his first English spoken Freethoughtvlog[6] about the Ground 0 Mosque. He is also publishing English written blogs on his website.[7] In 2015 he featured in the documentary Among Nonbelievers about the hardships of ex-Muslims, and speeched at the Human Rights Counsil in Geneva on the topic of blasphemy laws.[8] In 2016, he featured in the follow-up documentary Non-believers: Freethinkers on the Run about the dismal situation of irreligious asylum seekers in Dutch refugee camps.[9]


In 2016/2017 he made a comeback to his old profession, actor, and played a role in the musical Ciske de Rat', based on an old Dutch story[10]. He also did the voice-over of the Dutch version of 'The Secret Life Of 4 Year Olds'.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Van der Ham was raised a Remonstrant, but turned an agnostic later on. He is openly gay[12] and father of a son.[13]


  • Voortrekkers en Baanbrekers (2007)
  • De Vrije Moraal (2012)
  • De Koning Kun Je Niet Spelen (2014)
  • Nieuwe Vrijdenkers (2018)



External links[edit]