Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.
Humanists for Social and Environmental Action (HUMSEA), is an activist group of Humanists** involved in actions, campaigns, news, alerts, and promoting awareness of human rights issues and the United Nations Conventions, Treaties and Instruments which promote, protect and defend Universal Human Rights.
We view these United Nations treaties, listed in part on the pages of this website, as a humane and secular statements of universal principles of interdependence, justice, fairness, respect for all, and a blueprint on how to live with each other on this crowded planet, which also needs our help and respect.
We come from many backgrounds, and our common link is our support for Human Rights and a humanist view of our global environment. Many of us have an association with the United Nations, and also with local, regional, national and international Humanist and Ethical associations. As Humanists, we support the goals of the International Humanist and Ethical Union and its Amsterdam Declaration:
* Humanism is ethical. It affirms the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others. Humanists have a duty of care to all of humanity including future generations. Humanists believe that morality is an intrinsic part of human nature based on understanding and a concern for others, needing no external sanction.
* Humanism is rational. It seeks to use science creatively, not destructively. Humanists believe that the solutions to the world's problems lie in human thought and action rather than divine intervention. Humanism advocates the application of the methods of science and free inquiry to the problems of human welfare. But Humanists also believe that the application of science and technology must be tempered by human values. Science gives us the means but human values must propose the ends.
* Humanism supports democracy and human rights. Humanism aims at the fullest possible development of every human being. It holds that democracy and human development are matters of right. The principles of democracy and human rights can be applied to many human relationships and are not restricted to methods of government.
* Humanism insists that personal liberty must be combined with social responsibility. Humanism ventures to build a world on the idea of the free person responsible to society, and recognises our dependence on and responsibility for the natural world.
Our goal with this website project is to raise awareness of the Human Rights treaties at the United Nations - to highlight the range of secular and humanist treaties which guarantee rights for all, and which deal with social justice, civil rights, women's rights, children's rights, freedom of speech, habeas corpus, intellectual freedom, protection from torture, racism, discrimination, and marginalization of people, as well as environmental destruction and abuse.
Most countries have signed at least one of these 6 documents, and some countries have endorsed them all. Some of these universal rights are now written into the constitutions of emerging democracies. These rights are as often abridged as they are followed - but their existence as treaties allows human rights activists to both model behaviour and campaigns on their articles, as well as to use these in courts of law and in case law. The treaties are not well known outside the world of the UN and international courts, and should be more widely viewed and understood. Also, we should hold our own countries up to the legal obligations of the treaties they have signed.
We note with sadness that the United States is the ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD which has not yet signed the Convention on Children's Rights.
**We are ad hoc group of Humanist activists, who united in person and online to create change and defend human rights. We do not officially represent any specific humanist organizations by our presence here, and any actions we suggest or recommend are personal choices; not necessarily endorsed or officially supported by any specific organization. However, we each identify Humanism as our 'life philosophy', and we are members and associates of many Humanist bodies; some of us serve on various Humanist boards and committees, and we try to live a humanist philosophy of service.
Our members come from the Ontario Humanist Society, Humanist Canada, The American Humanist Association, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, the American Ethical Union, Unitarian organizations, the Humanist Institute, emerging Humanist chaplaincies, and various city organizations and smaller local societies and groups. Some of us are also Humanist Officiants, conducting life passage ceremonies for others, including Humanist weddings, funerals and memorials and celebrations of life. We write, we blog, we march, we advocate for a humane world, and a philosophy of mutual
We welcome contributors, information about human rights campaigns and actions, and contributions to our work. Contact me at mary (dot) beaty (at) utoronto (dot) ca
~ Mary Beaty, Humanist Chaplain