• post Type / Young Humanists International
  • Date / 27 May 2008

Norwegian Young Humanists (Humanistisk Ungdom) is the association for humanists between the age of 15 and 26. We are the youth organisation of the largest humanist association in the world, the Norwegian Humanist Association, and all the members of the Young Humanists are also members of the Norwegian Humanist Association.

The organisation is relatively newly founded. The constitutional meeting took place at Tjøme on the 16th of August 2007. Since then the organisation has grown rapidly, and has already more than 350 members spread around the country.

Norwegian Young Humanists is a meeting place for young people who base their life stance on humanist values.

The Association will work to develop humanism and contribute to ensuring that young people may practise and discuss their humanist life stance.

The Young Humanists arrange multiple activities, both on local and national level. In July 2008 we will also host our first international event. This will be a summer camp in the north of Norway, and the title is Investigate your life in the light of the midnight sun.  

The chair of the Norwegian Young Humanists is Lars-Petter Helgestad, who is also the current President of IHEYO.  

The Swedish Humanist Youth Organisation was founded on November 10 2007. Previously, humanist youth activity has been restricted to the secular confirmation camps held by the Swedish Humanist Association. It’s the only youth organisation geared toward humanism/secularism/reason to receive state funding in Sweden to date (most large youth organisations being political, religious or sports-oriented, or similar).

President of the SHYO is Knut Stahle, who is known in Swedish humanist circles for his fight against a “school church” – his high school (which he graduated from last year) had a room designated “church” and a priest would be there a few days per week. This is not permitted in regular Swedish schools which are supposed to be secular. Vice president is Anna Bjurström.

Since their founding they have been consciously laying low, prioritising working out their identity and goals before they start taking action, so that they have a solid foundation of principles from which to work. Despite the lack of advertising they have been growing steadily and have over 100 members. They have been present in a radio show on one of Sweden’s bigger channels, presenting their organisation. Furthermore they have participated in a meeting with other Youth organisations about integration and tolerance, instigated by the Swedish Minister of Integration and Gender Equality, Nyamko Sabuni.

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