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Successful campaigns

We frequently achieve success in our campaigns as we work to tackle discrimination against the non-religious and to bring about fair and equal treatment for all.

Here’s some wins that we’re most proud of:

Other recent and ongoing successes which have come about as a result of our campaigning, or in coalition with partner groups, include:

2019

2018

2017

2016

  • Ministry of Defence sponsors first ever national Remembrance event for non-religious people who died serving their country
  • United Nations calls on UK governments to urgently extend abortion rights to Northern Ireland, and repeal ‘collective worship’ law

2012

  • Scout Association and Girlguiding UK work with us to change their Promises to enable non-religious young people and adult volunteers to join for the first time

2011

Historically we’ve had even more achievements since 1896 which have come about as a result of our work either alone or in coalition, including:

1896 – Union of Ethical Societies formed with focus on ‘right living’ without religion

1911 – First ever global conference against racism hosted by us in London

1945 – Founding of UNESCO by our President Julian Huxley, originally intended to promote humanism and peace internationally through arts and culture

1955 – Humanist Housing Association founded to ensure fair access to housing to non-religious people

1965 – Agnostics Adoption Society founded to open adoption to the non-religious

1967 – Abortion made generally legal in Britain, homosexuality decriminalised in England and Wales, death penalty brought to an end, and Family Planning Act makes the pill widely available for the first time

1968 – First campaign for ‘Moral Education’ launched, predating modern subjects like PSHE and Citizenship

1979 – Gay Humanist Group (now LGBT Humanists) founded to help organise and support LGBT community activism in response to Gay News blasphemy trial

1998 – Human Rights Act makes freedom of religion or belief and freedom of speech and expression a legal right in the UK

2006 – The UK Equality Act protects people from discrimination on grounds of ‘religion or belief’ in employment and the provision of services. We sat on the Government steering group for the new law

2006 – We secured an amendment to the then Equality Bill to ensure that young people could no longer be expelled from their school on account of their religious opinions (for instance, if they attend a faith school and decide they do not share the religion of the school)

2006 and 2010 – We helped with the passing of the 2006 and 2010 Equality Acts, bringing comprehensive equality legislation into English, Welsh, and Scottish law

2009-10 – Our Atheist Billboard Campaign, which promoted the message ‘Please don’t label me. Let me grow up and decide for myself’ – opposing the labelling of children with religious or non-religious beliefs

2010 – Equality Act 2010 outlaws discrimination in employment and services on grounds of ‘religion or belief.’

These are just a handful of examples – many more can be found throughout the campaigns’ pages of our website.

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