At its meeting in Brussels,
Belgium, on the
first weekend of August, 2010, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU)
passed the following resolution:
Education in schools
Education should fit the individual for life as a full
participant in society, and teach self-respect and respect for the dignity of
Education should promote intellectual honesty. It should
foster a love of learning and an appreciation of the supremacy of reason and the
scientific method in the search for knowledge.
Education for citizenship should be based on a framework of
human rights and responsibilities and should impart the knowledge, cultivate
the understanding, and foster the critical skills essential for individual
engagement with society and politics. It should fit children and young people
for life in a democratic society underpinned by empathy, human rights and the
rule of law.
Education should ensure that children are informed about a
range of religious and non-religious lifestances and have autonomy in their
choice of their own lifestance.
The school should bring an academic discipline to bear in
presenting the beliefs, practices and values of different lifestances as well
as assisting pupils to develop their own responses to them.
Publicly funded schools should not promote one particular
religious or non-religious lifestance as the only correct one, but teach about
the various lifestances (including Humanism) factually and in an objective way.
Where parents or young people are offered an option of education into a
particular lifestance, Humanism must be one option alongside the religions.
Education directed at fostering inter-cultural understanding
that includes religious viewpoints should also include Humanism as a
non-religious lifestance and include the perspectives and culture of
—IHEU policy resolution, adopted by the General Assembly in