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Education law reforms urgently needed to protect children’s rights – Humanists UK

Reforms to the laws on collective worship, religious education, and faith-based admissions are among changes urgently needed to protect children’s rights, Humanists UK and Wales Humanists have told two key bodies advocating for children’s rights in England and Wales. In response to calls for evidence on the state of children’s rights by the Children’s Rights […]

Northern Ireland Government considers ‘conversion therapy’ ban

Northern Ireland may become the first part of the UK to ban the pseudoscientific and abusive practice known as ‘conversion therapy’. Justice Minister Naomi Long and Communities Minister Carál Ni Chuilin, committed in a meeting with Minister for Health Robin Swann to take forward work to ban the harmful practice. Northern Ireland Humanists, which has […]

School governance system bolsters Northern Ireland community division – new report

The way schools in Northern Ireland are governed helps to bolster existing community divisions, a new report has said. The research, published by the University of Ulster this week, argues that legal provisions requiring the presence of Protestant representatives on the boards of governors of state-controlled schools and Catholic representatives on the boards of Catholic […]

Humanists UK celebrates Organ Donation Week and new organ donation laws

Humanists UK is marking Organ Donation Week (7–13 September 2020) by celebrating the progress humanists have made in reforming organ donation laws across the UK. New ‘opt-out’ organ donation laws came into effect in England in May this year, following on from Wales in 2015 and Jersey in 2019. Humanists UK has partnered with its […]

Need for open school admissions grows more pressing, as third of country set to run out of places

A new Local Government Association (LGA) report says that up to a third of local areas risk being oversubscribed for secondary school places within the next five years, leaving almost 80,000 young people and their families at risk of missing out on a place. Responding to the new research, Humanists UK – which has long […]

Humanists UK mourns its patron Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan (1945-2020)

Humanists UK is deeply sad to announce the death of its patron, Labour politician and life peer, Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan. Born in Edinburgh in 1945, Lord (Martin) O’Neill became a Member of Parliament for Labour between 1970 and 2005, representing the Clackmannan and Eastern Stirlingshire, Clackmannan and Ochil seats successively. In June 2005 he […]

Little Book of Humanism is a Sunday Times bestseller

A brand new book by Humanists UK President, Alice Roberts and Chief Executive, Andrew Copson has topped the book sales charts in its first week to become a Sunday Times bestseller.   The Little Book of Humanism, published on 27 August, shares over two thousand years of humanist wisdom through an uplifting collection of illustrations, stories, […]

Scotland to enshrine UN Convention on Children’s Rights into law

Humanists UK has welcomed the news that the Scottish Government will put the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) directly into enforceable legislation before the May 2021 elections. A plan to strengthen children’s rights in Scotland by ‘[incorporating] the Convention into law to the maximum extent possible within the powers of the […]

New Zealand scraps compulsory religious instruction in state schools

A new law requiring parental consent before children attending state schools may receive religious instruction has come into force in New Zealand. Humanists UK – which has long campaigned for an end to faith-based instruction in state-funded schools in the UK – has welcomed the reform, calling it a significant step in the worldwide campaign […]

Success! Humanists UK celebrates introduction of compulsory relationships and sex education after more than 50 years campaigning

New regulations making relationships and sex education (RSE) compulsory in schools in England come into force today. Humanists UK, which has campaigned for statutory RSE for well over 50 years, said the landmark law is ‘a cause for celebration’, but voiced concerns about faith-based exemptions that mean there is some way to go before every […]

Humanists in foxholes: Roger Hutton discusses Defence Humanists, Remembrance Day, and Humanists in Government

At the end of a long career in the Civil Service, we spoke to Roger Hutton about his time working at the Ministry of Defence and in particular, his work with Defence Humanists, the Humanists UK section representing non-religious people in Defence, veterans, and their families. Hi Roger, you’ve just come to the end of […]

Past right-to-die legal claimants and their families join forces to call for assisted dying inquiry

The families and living claimants of most of the previous assisted dying legal cases have come together for the first time, to urge the UK Secretary of State for Justice to instigate a review into assisted dying or call on the UK Parliament to conduct one, in an open letter published today. The letter, which […]

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