Humanists UK

Humanists UK

At a glance


  • Campaigning
  • Faith and ethics
  • Human rights

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 
National - Britain


We aim to achieve a situation where:


Humanism is understood as an ethical and fulfilling non-religious approach to life involving a naturalistic view of the universe.

Using all suitable means, including events, courses, publications, online resources, teaching materials and speakers for schools and colleges, the press, broadcast, online and social media, we will maintain an extensive promotional and educational programme to extend and deepen public understanding of Humanism as a lifestance. We will emphasise that humanists strive to be rational, looking to science in attempting to understand the universe, and ethical, seeking to act in a way that puts human welfare at the centre of morality; and that they seek to make meaning in life in the here and now.


People with humanist beliefs and values are supported in identifying themselves as humanists and in expressing those beliefs and values in their lives.

We will articulate Humanism and humanist views in a way that helps people with a humanist outlook identify themselves as humanists, provide opportunities for humanists to develop their own thinking individually and in community with fellow humanists, and strive to establish contact with all who share our values. We will maintain a network of celebrants to enable non-religious people to mark or celebrate significant moments in their lives and accredit humanist volunteers who can provide non-religious pastoral support to those who want it.


The UK is a secular state guaranteeing human rights, with no privilege or discrimination on grounds of religion or belief.

We will work to enhance the public understanding and appreciation of secularism as the best strategy for achieving freedom, equality, and peace in a plural society. We will identify and publicise key instances where people are unfairly privileged or discriminated against because of their religion or belief or where principles of human rights or equality are compromised. We will engage in effective advocacy to influence public opinion, government policy, legislation, and case law in order to resolve these situations.


Public debate and policy are shaped by humanist perspectives.

By recruiting high profile advocates, publishing research and articulating humanist views ourselves, we will promote humanist views on public ethical issues. We will focus on those issues that are either important to humanists in particular or have high social importance, especially where others are actively promoting views opposed to humanist values or the humanist voice is excluded or weak. We will give philosophical and practical support to significant initiatives to meet global challenges, showing how these initiatives rest on our principles of accepting scientific evidence, acknowledging human responsibility, promoting happiness for all and reducing harm. We will participate fully in the international humanist movement and encourage humanists to increase their engagement with public affairs, working with us and in cooperation with others.


We are an expanding, financially healthy and sustainable organisation with high standards of governance and management.

We will build an engaged constituency of the non-religious to create sustainable growth founded on a regular programme of activities and campaigns in which we engage our supporters as donors, volunteers, celebrants or campaigners to help achieve our objectives. As many of these activities as possible will be financially self-sufficient. We will regularly review all our people’s skills, our organisational structure and our procedures to maintain high standards and ensure they fit the requirements of our current and planned activities.


We are respected as an organisation for our expertise and professionalism and recognized as the national voice of Humanism and a leading national voice for the non-religious and for secularism.

We will maintain good relationships with all our stakeholders and audiences and work in coalitions with others whenever possible. We will maintain a responsive and proactive communications function, based on a clear communications strategy and using the most appropriate media. We will aspire always to work to the highest standards and in accordance with our values, to respond seriously to any criticism, and to keep ourselves under critical review to ensure that our high reputation is maintained and improved.


We devote much of our time to campaigning and lobbying on behalf of the non-religious as well as for freedom of religion, belief, speech, thought, and expression more generally. We work for an open society and a secular state with no religious privilege or discrimination based on religion or belief. We also campaign for a rational approach to public ethical issues in order to contribute to a public life where decisions are made on evidence rather than on the basis of irrational beliefs or religious doctrines.

We classify our public affairs work as belonging to one of four areas:

  • schools and education, including faith schools – whether state-funded, private, or illegal – religious education, science including evolution and creationism, PSHE and relationships and sex education, and collective worship;


  • human rights and equality, including the need to defend and strengthen the current legal settlement, work related to the specific rights of freedom of religion or belief, freedom of speech and expression (including issues related to blasphemy laws, harassment and incitement, free speech on campus, and advertising), children’s rights, and socio-economic rights, and issues to do with conscientious objection, legal recognition of humanist marriages, same-sex marriages, chaplaincy/pastoral support, broadcasting, so-called ‘conversion therapy’, and religious courts;


  • secularism, including the need for constitutional reforms such as disestablishment and removing the bishops from the House of Lords, the relationship between Government and faith communities, national ceremonies such as Remembrance, and public service reform;


  • public ethical issues, including assisted dying, abortion and other sexual and reproductive rights, human tissues, organ donation, homeopathy, animal welfare, and the genital mutilation of children.

We also work on all these issues and more internationally.

As well as being able to find out information about the above campaigns, in this area of our site you can also find out about successful campaigns we no longer have to work on, a humanist view of society more generally, and how you can get involved.


Across the UK

As a national organisation, we present expertly argued views to UK and devolved parliaments, assemblies, and governments: lobbying elected officials, submitting evidence to enquiries, making submissions, responding to consultations, and conducting media campaigns. We have a close working relationship with the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group, to which we provide the secretariat.

We work in the devolved legislatures through our sections Northern Ireland Humanists and Wales Humanists, and in cooperation with Humanist Society Scotland.

And while not being party political but we work with affiliated groups in a number of parties – the Labour Party, the Conservative Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.

No current opportunities

Search for volunteer opportunities with other organisations.