Humanists International has trained a group of parliamentarians from around the world on the topic of humanism and the situation for many non-religious people around the world.
Earlier this month, Humanist International’s Director of Advocacy, Elizabeth O’Casey, participated in a three-day training course run by the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IPPFoRB) and led a session on showing how the right to freedom of religion or belief protects secular views.
The course, held in Oxford, included lectures, training sessions and tutorials. It was a practical introductory course for Parliamentarians around the world working on the right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) and related issues. Sessions included: freedom of religion or belief under law; legitimate limitations to the right to FoRB; minority-majority issues; hate speech and free expression; and the rights of women under FoRB.
This was the second edition of this IPPFoRB training course but the first which included a session on the secular/humanist perspective. For Humanists International, Elizabeth O’Casey comments:
“This event provided a great opportunity for Humanists International to raise a key issue it works on with members of Parliament from across the world. We outlined ways that states can improve on how they handle the various issues faced by the non-religious.”
Attendees included: the new Norwegian special envoy on FoRB, Ambassador Jostein Leiro; two Parliamentarians from Myanmar; two Parliamentarians from Malaysia; two Parliamentarians from Pakistan; one Parliamentarian from Cameroon; three Parliamentarians from North Macedonia; one Parliamentarian from Bosnia and Herzegovina; and a representative from the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR).
Other speakers and trainers included: Dr Ahmed Shaheed, Baroness Elizabeth Berridge, Katherine Cash, Prof Nazila Ghanea, and Dr Mine Yildirim.