Humanists International publishes some of the best international coverage on the rights violations and abuses of the humanist population in the world. The main or flagship report is the Freedom of Thought Report each year. Another put out this year is the Humanists at Risk: Action Report 2020 covering some of the gaps in the secularism principle for governments, or the separation of religion and government.
Nations highlighted in the reportage on the Humanists at Risk: Action Report 2020 were Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Humanists International covered a wide range of tactics used by start actors to restrict freedom of conscience, religion, and thought, or association, assembly, and expression of atheists, humanists, and non-religious people.
Some of the privileges for the religious or limits on rights for the humanists included various legal provisions in the form of blasphemy and apostasy laws, a variety of injuries, attacks, and killings based on social reprisals, the discrimination by the state to limit access to certain public services and positions, and the well-known and thoroughly documented bullying, discrimination, social isolation, and ostracism.
Even in online spaces, many humanists and atheists fear arrest, intimidation, prosecution, and threats based on posts to various social media. The protection of the lives, the attainment of respect and acknowledgment, and the change of legislation for more equitable status for the secular around the world are some of the main items needing doing now – for the sake of generations of humanists and atheists after us.
Humanists international stated, “Stories from India portray the most brutal form for violence humanists and rationalists face. Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, M.M. Kalburgi and H Farook were all shot and killed for opposing superstition, criticizing idol worship or religion (read about more cases on page 24 to 26). Failures in the investigation and prosecution of such cases leads to a climate of fear, which may stifle the voices of otherwise outspoken individuals.”
With an assessment of the eight target countries, Humanists International, they have put (Humanists International) have put forward a series of recommendations for each country regarding the things that they can do to improve the situation and the contexts for “humanists and non-religious people.” Tied to this, they aim for the furtherance of the protection of the freedom of conscience, religion, and thought, or association, assembly, and expression.
Based on the assessment made on the eight target countries, Humanists International has put forward recommendations for each country intending to improve the situation for humanists and non-religious people and to protect the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion and the right to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
“For too long humanists and other non-religious people have been invisible in the eyes of their own governments and international organizations,” Chief Executive of Humanists International, Gary McLelland, stated, “This report shines a light on the targeted violence, continued harassment and social discrimination faced by humanists in many countries and opens the door to conversations on how best to protect humanists worldwide. What is clear is that all laws and policies which criminalize ‘blasphemy’ should be repealed.”
With files from Humanists International.