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IHEU January 2010 update -- Forwarded FYI

From: Chris
Sent on: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 6:59 PM
This is your monthly update of news from International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). You can find the full versions of these news stories on our web site. We are also on twitter and Facebook. Tell your friends about this newsletter: you can forward this message (visit this link) or ask them to visit to subscribe. (Scroll down to unsubscribe or change your newsletter settings)
Happy New Year!
Christmas Appeal for Iraq's Christians
IHEU has joined an appeal to the UN to help the situation of Christians in Iraq. The Christmas Day appeal to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, drew her attention to acts of terror against Christians in Iraq that include the bombing of 59 churches and the killings of bishops, priests and other Christians. These acts of terror, combined with kidnappings, death threats, and anti-Christian social discrimination, have prompted nearly half of Iraq's one million Christians to flee the country. Read more
Help Humanists Fight Blasphemy Laws
Blasphemy! It's a cry as old as freethought, perhaps as old as religion. It's also a crime wherever religion can get enough control of government to impose it. It's not too late to stop the blasphemy measure becoming international law. Please, take a moment right now to give as generously as you can: Read more
Malawi Debates Humanism vs. Christianity
Humanism continues to take root and grow in the Southern African nation of Malawi. An inaugural conference in 2008 and a second national conference in 2009 were both funded by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). Now the Association of Secular Humanism (ASH) in Malawi is taking part in a high-profile debate titled "Which is Good for Malawi: Christianity or Secular Humanism?", which will be broadcast live on national radio on December 27. Read more
Humanists Protest Anti-Gay Legislation in Rwanda
The UK gay Humanist charity, the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT), is appalled to learn that yet another African country, Rwanda, is planning viciously homophobic legislation in line with that being debated in Uganda. Read more
Council of Ex-Muslims Criticizes Swiss Ban on Minarets
The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB, an IHEU Member Organization) held its second Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 13 December 2009 in London. The AGM unanimously adopted a statement expressing concern over the Swiss vote to ban minarets. Read more
French National Federation of the Free Thought Issues Declaration on Bioethics
On October 10, 2009, the French National Federation of the Free Thought (FNLP, an IHEU Member Organization) organized a colloquium on the review of the law passed on August 6, 2004 concerning bioethics. At the end of this colloquium, and without renouncing to carry on the reflection of today's free and fruitful debate, the FNLP insists on recalling that no special morality should curb or guide scientific research towards any other goa but knowledge and the improvement of the conditions of humankind. Read more
Report From the UN: Children's Rights
Since the 1980s, advocates for children have increasingly agreed that children need rights protected by international law. Charity is not enough to protect children around the world. International law now exists: November 2009 was the twentieth anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the first legally binding agreement setting standards for the care, treatment and protection of all persons below age eighteen. Read more
New Issue of IHEU's French Language Magazine is now Available
The latest issue of IHEU's French-language magazine, Informations Humanistes Internationales, is now available in hard copy and also as a PDF download. Issue #4 of IHI focuses on the IHEU conferences held in London, UK, in June 2009. These included a a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, and the first "World Conference on Untouchability." Read more
Story of a Humanist Campaign Against Religious Exploitation of a Child
For the last few weeks Humanists, Rationalists and Human Rights activists have been waging a huge battle against the forces of fundamentalism in Andhra Pradesh, India. This is a battle that involves the media, the police, the justice system, aggressive fundamentalists, the Dalai Lama, as well as the Humanists and Rationalists. It is a battle that is being watched with keen interest by millions of homes as it unfolds on live TV, in newspaper articles and through public discussions. Read more

International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) is the world umbrella organisation for Humanist, ethical culture, rationalist, secularist and freethought groups. Based in London, it is an international NGO with Special Consultative Status with the UN (New York, Geneva, Vienna), General Consultative Status at UNICEF (New York) and the Council of Europe (Strasbourg), and it maintains operational relations with UNESCO (Paris).
Its mission is to build and represent the global Humanist movement, to defend human rights and to promote Humanist values world-wide. IHEU sponsors the triennial World Humanist Congress.
You can find out more about IHEU on our web site
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