International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organization


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International Humanist Youth Conference 2002

Report and Resolutions

Resolutions of the International Humanist Youth Conference
July 1-5, 2002, The Netherlands

These resolutions were adopted by the IHEYO youth conference on 5 July, 2002. However, due to constraints on time and confusion about procedure, some participants voiced their protest about its representative character. On content the resolution on youth got almost unanimous approval, while the one on education was approved by a 2/3 majority.

1. Proposed IHEYO Youth Resolution

Whereas the IHEYO believes that the involvement of youth in the international humanist movement is of utmost importance for the present and future development of humanism;

Whereas non-participation of youth in the IHEU over its 50 year history is a matter of great concern;

Whereas, in order for humanism to grow in the 'real world,' the input and life experience of young people is essential;

Resolved, at each General Assembly young humanists will be represented and have the opportunity to fully participate;

Resolved, the IHEU will allocate funds each year for youth activities;

Resolved, each IHEU Congress will include youth activities both for youth specifically and that foster cooperation and integration of youth and non-youth participants;

Resolved, that IHEU will ensure that youth humanists from Global South are able to participate in all IHEYO activities;

Resolved, that each IHEU member organization will establish or expand youth activities;

Resolved, that IHEU will keep in mind the issues of concern to young humanists in any forum of NGOs, the UN and other intergovernmental organizations.

This resolution presented to the General Assembly of IHEU and was well received by the delegates. They pledged their support for the ideas within.

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2. Proposed IHEYO Education Resolution

Because a state funded and/or cumpulsory school is an environment where values are being stated, school education should be providing education about religion only in a non-dogmatic way. Religious education should be inclusive, giving information about significant religions and life stances, including non-theistic ones. Children and young people should be taught to be critical, to explore, and to learn problem-solving techniques in order to become individuals with the ability to choose their own path. These values are to be found in the Universal Declarateion of Human Rights and other UN conventions.

Included in these values, education on sexuality is important and a part of basic knowledge. The idea that sexuality is an expression of human emotion and relationship must berecognized as an essential part of human existence.

This resolution was not passed by the General Assembly for a number of reasons. Among these were the observation of the American and French delegates who did not have religious educational systems that it did not apply to them. In addition, some delegates thought it was rather naive in form, and others still noted that many of the statements had been addressed by the IHEU in previous resolutions.

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