Humanists around the world face discrimination, persecution and ostracism due to their non-religious beliefs. Humanists International works directly with those at risk, and with other non-government organisations and officials, to advise, improve security, or in some cases to help relocate people under verified threat.
Here is a short overview of our work and how you can contribute to it.
Not all humanists across the world can live freely, in accordance with their values. Many humanists and atheists around the world are forced to live their lives “in the closet”; the alternative being the risk ostracism, discrimination, persecution, prison terms – or even death (be it from state-sanctioned punishment or vigilante violence).
The global Covid-19 crisis has dramatically affected the lives of humanists at risk. Many are in prison with little or no access to medical assistance and exposed to the contagion; the poor conditions in many prisons, and disregard for their welfare, makes them all the more susceptible to contracting the virus. Still more find themselves stuck, unable to flee dangerous conditions at home or stranded in a foreign country, waiting for borders to open and struggling to sustain themselves financially.
About Humanists International
As the global representative body of the humanist movement, we:
- Advise and directly support individual humanists at verified risk, from countries where prosecution or violence threaten their fundamental human rights.
- Advocate human rights, and highlight cases where humanists have been persecuted or prosecuted, at the United Nations Human Rights Council and other international forums.
- Research, record and monitor discrimination and persecution against the non-religious in our ground-breaking Freedom of Thought Report.
- Coordinate campaigns for the repeal of dangerous laws, such as ‘blasphemy’.
We have a track record of success:
- Since 2012, we have published the Freedom of Thought Report, the only global report focused on the treatment of humanists and atheists.
- Our work has been cited by many UN Officials, experts and other authorities around the world.
- Thanks to our intervention, and the support of our Members and Associates, we have helped to secure the lives of dozens of humanists and atheists around the world.
We have big plans to ramp up the support we offer to humanists at risk in 2020, here are just some of these plans:
- We will ensure a quick response to all enquiries we receive from humanists at risk, aiming for a 24-hour response
- We will hire the world’s only full-time Humanists at Risk Coordinator, to effectively manage the response of our whole network in a coordinated way
- We will launch a brand new Humanists at Risk Report, which will highlight the growing body of evidence of discrimination against humanists and atheists
But we cannot do this alone – and this is where you can help us to make the difference.
In order to #ProtectHumanistsAtRisk, we need a lot of resources to provide the professional, legal and humanitarian support requested.
The support needed by humanists at risk
We know that this is a difficult time for everyone, and we understand that you may not be in a position to support our work financially at this time, but if you can, humanists at risk are in need now, more than ever. No matter how small, your donation can help us to make this possible. Your contribution will go towards our work on behalf of individuals at risk, be it:
- To help with their relocation: in most cases humanists at risk need money and trusted contacts to relocate to a safer place, either internally in their own country or abroad;
- To help them survive: often humanists at risk need mere financial support to survive while in hiding i.e. money to buy food, clothes, and to rent a temporary shelter where to hide;
- To hire legal assistance: in other more urgent cases humanists at risk need money to hire a lawyer ready to support them with legal advice in court or while in prison;
- To raise their cases in international fora: we need resources to attend meetings of the United Nations, the African Commission, the Council of Europe and other human rights bodies, and to put international pressure on governments who are persecuting humanists at risk in their own countries;
- To advocate on their behalf “behind the scenes”: non-public advocacy is an essential part of our work, particularly in the context of humanists at risk, where it is important to act with discretion and tact in order to preserve their safety.
Please support us in this endeavour by donating whatever you can to our #ProtectHumanistsAtRisk campaign: gofundme.com/protect-humanists-at-risk-2020.
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