Humanists International works to protect humanists at risk all around the world, wherever they are. In the last 12 months the organization has received 200 requests for help from humanists facing persecution all around the world.
“This corresponds to a request for help every two days”, says Emma Wadsworth-Jones, who works at Humanists International as the world’s only Humanists At Risk Coordinator. Emma started working in this position in April 2020 and since then the casework management capacity of the organization has dramatically increased.
“Each month, we receive, on average, 16 requests for help from individuals across the globe who are at direct threat for their humanist identity or activism”, continues Emma. “We are talking about activists who advocate for human and scientific progress, social reforms, and a culture of tolerance and freedom. In this regard, they are often at the forefront of many progressive battles: secularism, democracy, women’s rights, LGBTI+ rights, freedom of expression, freedom of religion or belief, anti-racism, critical thinking, and so on. We need to support them.”
That’s why on 29 June, for the fifth year in a row, Humanists International launched its annual fundraising campaign “Protect Humanists At Risk” with the target of raising £25,000 to assist individuals at risk all around the world.
“In the last 12 months we managed to assist 72 individuals and spent a total of £26,790 in emergency grants”, adds Emma. “We helped activists at risk to cover their medical expenses, legal fees, relocation costs and general subsistence, including rent and food. A big part of this fund has been allocated to assist Mubarak Bala, the President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria who has been detained arbitrarily without charge for 428 days.”
“But our assistance is more than just grants”, specifies Emma. “We help signpost individuals to local organizations, including our Members and Associates who can be of support to those left isolated; we support asylum claims of individuals who have fled their homeland due to experiencing direct persecution as a result of their non-belief; we lead public campaigns and advocacy actions. We may even provide a combination of strategies, not limited to the above, that are tailored to the needs of those seeking our assistance.”
To support Emma’s work to protect humanists at risk, Humanists International invites all of its Members, Associates and Supporters to contribute to the campaign with a donation on the dedicated fundraising page.
“We are experiencing a paradox”, says Emma, “because the better we get at assisting humanists at risk, the more other individuals come to know about our work and contact us. To help them, we need more resources. That’s why we need the support of the global humanist community: without them, we would not be able to assist the less fortunate humanists amongst us.”
For any enquiries about the campaign, or to organize fundraising events in collaboration with your organization, please contact [email protected]
We need your help to keep assisting humanists at risk all around the world. Please help us to make a difference by making a donation today to our Protect Humanists At Risk campaign: any amount will help.Donate now