By Laws of IHEYO
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These By Laws
were adopted on 2 September 2003 in Berlin, Germany, and amended on 24 of
May in Kampala, Uganda.
Article l. Name and Location
Section 1. Name and Official Language
With this, the international non-profit organisation will
be founded. It shall be called the International Humanist and Ethical Youth
Organisation. The organisation shall be known by the acronym "IHEYO".
The official language of IHEYO is English. The organisation comes under the
provision and regulations of the title III from the Belgian law of June 1921
concerning the non-profit organisations and the foundations (article 46 to
57) and is founded by Gea Meijers, Netherlands, Alina Mänttäri,
Finland, Ramesh Kumar, India, Ademowo 'Yemi Johnson, Nigeria, Frederik Dezutter,
Belgium, Lars-Petter Helgestad, Norway, Marita Eriksen, Norway, Vincent Lloyd,
United States of America
Wolfgang Huber, Austria
Section 2. Location
IHEYO has its head office in Vrijzinnig Centrum Geuzenhuis, Kantienberg 9,
9000 Gent, Belgium. The seat can be transferred to any other place in Belgium
by the decision of the General Assembly, to be published in the Belgian Governmental
Gazette and communicated with the Federal department of Justice.
Article 2. Purpose
Section 1. Main Identity
The main identity of IHEYO is:
To bring into active association youth groups and young humanist individuals
throughout the world interested in promoting humanism, as is described in
the Amsterdam Declaration 2002.
Section 2. Aims
IHEYO's aims are:
-To promote the development of cooperation among member organizations and
humanist youth, especially on the international level;
-To promote circulation of information and expertise among member organizations
and humanist youth;
-To carry out educational and cultural action in order to promote a Humanist
vision of cultural, social and ethical values;
-To represent its members to any and all international governing institutions
on all questions related to the organization's purpose;
-To contribute and give a voice to youth humanism on the international level.
Article 3. Membership
The organisation is accessible for foreigners and Belgians.
Section 1. Membership
Each organization or individual applying for membership must complete the
official membership form and submit it to the Executive Committee of IHEYO.
To be admitted as a member, the organization must agree with IHEYO's main
identity and aims, and be accepted by the General Assembly. A majority vote
of represented full members at a General Assembly shall be sufficient to admit
Section 2. Humanist organizations
A humanist organization may have members that do not consider themselves humanists.
To be considered a humanist organization, it is sufficient that the goals
of the organization are based on and consistent with IHEYO's main identity
Section 3. Full Members
Full membership is open to youth branches of humanist organizations and humanist
organizations dedicated to the activities of youth under the age of 35. These
humanist organizations must be formally constituted within a country and be
democratically governed. However, in special cases, such as countries where
Human Rights are not well established, the General Assembly may also grant
full membership to local humanist groups that are democratically governed
but not formally constituted. Full members have the right to vote at the General
Section 4. Consultative Members
Consultative membership is open to any humanist association. Consultative
members do not have a vote at the General Assembly, but they do have speaking
Section 5. Individual Members
IHEYO recognizes that some individual young people who want to be involved
in Humanism might live in isolated areas where a group is not available. Individual
members have to be under the age of 35. They do not have voting rights, but
they do have speaking privileges at the General Assembly. To become an individual
member one should fill out the official supporters' form and submit it to
the Executive Committee. The General Assembly need not vote on the acceptance
of individual members; instead, the Executive Committee shall have jurisdiction
over individual members' applications.
Section 6. Leaving IHEYO
Any member may withdraw from IHEYO by notifying the Executive Committee of
its resignation in writing. This resignation shall take effect two weeks (14
days) after the notification is received by the Executive Committee.
Section 7. Removal by the General Assembly
The General Assembly, acting on a proposal from the Executive Committee, may
terminate an organisation's membership, through a two-thirds (2/3) majority
vote of the full members. The organization in question will be allowed an
opportunity to defend itself in front of the General Assembly prior to voting.
Cause for removal will include a member organisation acting
in clear violation of IHEYO's purpose as stated in the bylaws, acting in clear
violation of the bylaws themselves, or leaving membership fees unpaid for
at least three consecutive years. The Executive Committee shall be required
to give notification to the organization in question that their membership
is being considered for termination sixty (60) days before the meeting of
the General Assembly where the vote is to take place.
The notification should include an explanation of the reasons why termination
is being considered. The organization in question may submit its defence in
writing or in person to the General Assembly.
Article 4. The General Assembly
Section 1. Composition
The General Assembly is comprised of all voting members and non-voting members.
Section 2. Purpose
The General Assembly is the highest decision-making body of the IHEYO. Decisions
are made by simple majority of voting members, except when stated otherwise.
The General Assembly decides on the following issues:
-To amend the bylaws as specified in Article 8;
-To elect and dismiss members of the Executive Committee;
-To allow or deny organizations admission into full or collaborating membership,
on recommendation by the Executive Committee;
-To decide about membership dues;
-To adopt the annual budget as prepared by the Treasurer;
-To acquire and dispose of real estate;
-To dissolve IHEYO as specified in Article 11.
Section 3. Delegates
Each organization needs to appoint in a written statement in advance to the
General Assembly, the person or persons who will represent the member organization
at the General Assembly. A representative must be under 35 years of age.
Section 4. Observers
One IHEU representative has the right to attend and to speak at the General
Assembly. Other individuals are free to attend, but they will not have speaking
rights in front of the General Assembly unless the General Assembly allows
Section 5. Annual Meeting
The date of the Annual Meeting shall be communicated by the Executive Committee
to all full members ninety (90) days prior to its occurrence. The agenda of
the Annual Meeting shall be arranged by the Executive Committee, but including
any question one-fourth (1/4) of the full members has requested to be discussed.
The latter requests should be submitted to the Secretary-General in writing
prior to the Annual Meeting. The agenda of the Annual Meeting shall be made
available to member organizations at least thirty (30) days prior to the Annual
Section 6. Convening Extraordinary Meetings by Executive
The Executive Committee may convene Extraordinary Meetings of the General
Assembly, if it receives such a request in writing from one fourth of the
full members, indicating the item or items to be placed on the agenda. Sixty
(60) days notice must be given to the General Assembly prior to such a meeting.
Section 7. Voting at a Meeting
If a member is unable to send a delegate, the right to their vote may be transferred
to another delegation by informing the Secretary-General in writing, by post
or fax. A delegation may have only such voting right. Votes submitted in writing
must be signed by the President or equivalent official of the full member
organization. If it is deemed necessary, secret ballot voting may be allowed.
The request from a single delegate is sufficient to require secret balloting.
Section 8. Number of votes
Each voting member has one vote, except organization with over 1000 members
have two votes and organizations with over 3000 members have three votes.
Only members under 35 years of age are considered. In the case of umbrella
organizations, the members of member organizations are counted.
Article 5. The Executive Committee
Section 1. General Structure and Function
The Executive Committee shall be comprised of at least four (4) and not more
than twelve (12) persons between the ages of 18 and 35 who are affiliated
with full member organizations of IHEYO. Once elected, they are no longer
eligible to represent any member organization to the General Assembly. Executive
Committee members have no voting rights at the General Assembly's Meetings.
Section 2. Offices
The offices are the following: President, Secretary-General, Treasurer, 1
to 2 Vice-Presidents, and regular members. Other offices may be created by
the Executive Committee.
Section 3. Election
The members of the Executive Committee shall be elected by the General Assembly
for a term of two years. A vote of simple majority shall be sufficient to
elect an Executive Committee member. A term of office may be ended by resignation,
death or dismissal by the General Assembly.
Section 4. Termination of Term of Office
The term of office for Executive Committee members shall end if they cease
to be affiliated with a full member organization of IHEYO. An individual shall
be limited to three consecutive terms in office, but may run again at a later
time for non-consecutive office.
Resignations shall be tendered in writing to the Secretary-General
two weeks (14 days) prior to the resignation taking effect.
Dismissals shall be pronounced by the General Assembly following a proposal
from at least one-half (1/2) the members of the Executive Committee, and a
two-thirds (2/3) vote of represented full members at a General Assembly, provided
that two-thirds (2/3) of represented full members constitutes at least fifty
percent of the total full membership.
Section 5. President
The responsibilities of the President shall be to represent the organization
on internal and external matters, to oversee the general operations of IHEYO
and to convene the Annual Meeting. The President shall also give a report
of the past year's activities of the Executive Committee to the General Assembly.
Section 6. Vice Presidents
There is a 1st and 2nd Vice President. The responsibilities of the Vice Presidents
shall be to assist the President in his or her duties, and to assume the President's
duties in case of his or her absence.
Section 7. Secretary-General
The responsibilities of the Secretary-General shall be to keep record of the
activities of the Executive Committee and to receive official messages from
member organizations directed to the Executive Committee as a whole. The Secretary-General
shall also keep record of the events and decisions of both the Executive Committee
throughout the year, and of the General Assembly at the Annual Meeting.
Section 8. Treasurer
The responsibilities of the Treasurer shall be to receive the annual dues
of each member organization and to keep record of members' payment status.
The Treasurer shall give a financial report at each Annual Meeting and at
each meeting of the Executive Committee.
Section 9. Meetings of the Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall have at least two (2) meetings per year. To
hold a meeting, more than one-half (1/2) of the members of the Executive Committee
must be present.
Section 10. Removing out of office on request of majority
of the Executive Committee
When an officer does not fulfil his or her office appropriately, by simple
majority of the Executive Committee, the Committee may decide to remove the
person out of his or her office. Such removal needs to be communicated formally
to all voting members and agreed by simple majority to be put in effect. When
there is any suspicion of fraud, or serious misdealing in such category, the
officer can be suspended immediately by a majority of the Executive Committee
for a maximum period of a year.
Section 11. Substitute officers
When an officer is unable to perform his or her duties, the Executive Committee
may appoint a substitute until the next General Assembly. Such a substitution
needs to be communicated to all full members.
Article 6. Relation to IHEU
IHEU and IHEYO communication
IHEU and IHEYO will communicate with each other on a regular basis. They will
inform each other about each other's activities. Where possible, IHEU and
IHEYO can work collaboratively on joint projects or support each other's projects.
Article 7. Dues
Section 1. Payment
Members have to pay a membership fee. The membership fee shall be paid in
full to the Treasurer by January 31 of each year. Voting at the General Assembly
is contingent upon full dues having been paid.
The membership depends on the number in the member organisation; large member
organisations pay more than the small organisations. The minimum fee is 1Euro
If any member cannot pay the stipulated fees, then the members concerned has
to formally state why they cannot to the EC. The EC will then decide if they
(the affected organisation) can remain a full member with voting right.
Article 8. Amendment of the Bylaws
The bylaws may be amended by the General Assembly (1) in response to a proposal
from the Executive Committee or (2) at the request in writing to the Executive
Committee of one of the full members.
The Executive Committee is required to give notice to the
General Assembly informing them of the date of the meeting at which the amendment
will be discussed. This notice should include the text of the amendment being
proposed, and should come at least sixty (60) days prior to the meeting.
A two-thirds (2/3) vote of represented full members at a
General Assembly is required for an amendment to the bylaws to be passed,
provided that two-thirds (2/3) of represented full members constitutes at
least one half (1/2) of the total IHEYO full members.
The changes on the bylaws will come into force after the approval by the qualified
authority according to the article 50§3 of the law and after publication
in the Belgian governmental gazette according to article 51§3 of the
law in question.
Article 9. Financial Regulations
Section 1. Financial Resources
The financial resources of IHEYO will be comprised of dues from member organizations
and any other money IHEYO acquires, through donations or any other source.
Section 2. Governance
The Treasurer and the President may with the approval of the Executive Committee
write checks or issue payment, according to the rules in the standing orders.
Section 3. Fiscal Year
The IHEYO fiscal year shall conclude on each December 31. The Executive Committee
shall create an annual budget and the Treasurer shall present it to the General
Assembly for approval prior to the start of the fiscal year. Approval shall
require a simple majority vote.
Section 4. Audit Commitee
The GA appoints an independent audit committee to check whether there were
irregularities in the accounts. Other details concerning the financial regulations
will be regulated through the standing orders
Article 10. Procedural Rules
Section 1. Appendix A
At any point where official rules of procedure are required for the business
of IHEYO, specifically at the meetings of the General Assembly, the procedural
rules contained in Appendix A to this bylaws shall be the governing rules.
Section 2. Standing order
The standing order is approved by and shall be amended by the General Assembly.
It specifies the rules and regulations that are not specified in these bylaws.
Section 3. Standing committees and working groups
The Executive Committee may appoint and dissolve standing committees or temporary
working groups as needed
Article 11. Dissolution
Section 1. Rules Regarding Dissolution of IHEYO
Unabated the application of the articles 50§3,55 en
56of the law concerning the NGO's the INGO's and the foundations, proposal
of dissolution of IHEYO may be presented by the General Assembly either (1)
in response to a proposal from the Executive Committee or (2) at the request
in writing to the Executive Committee of at least one third of the full members.
The Executive Committee is required to give notice to the General Assembly
informing them of the date of the meeting at which the dissolution will be
discussed. This notice should include the reason for dissolution being proposed,
and should come at least sixty (60) days prior to the meeting.
IHEYO may be dissolved as an organization on a three-quarters
(3/4) vote of all the full members. Two thirds (2/3) of the full members have
to be represented.
At the time of dissolution, it shall be required that the
General Assembly indicate where excess funds will be directed. At that time
it shall also be required that any real estate or property possessed by IHEYO
be transferred to a kindred organization.
These Bylaws were approved on this, the 24th day of April 2004, by the
General Assembly in Kampala, Uganda.
Appendix A. Rules of Procedure for IHEYO General Assembly
These rules are simplified from Robert's Rules of Order.
-The President will convene the meeting.
-Once the agenda is approved, the President will yield the chairmanship to
the Vice President, who will carry out the technical procedure for the rest
of the meeting, leaving the President free to read the report of the past
-The Vice President will conduct the business of the meeting and the Session
will close with concluding remarks by the President.
-The agenda will be proposed by the Secretary-General, and approved by the
-The agenda will include minutes of the previous meeting, reports of officers,
including the Annual Report to be presented by the President, and new and
old business as necessary.
-The minutes, reports, resolution proposals and other relevant documents must
be circulated to delegates in advance of the meeting, at the time the delegates
are notified of the meeting where possible, with a draft agenda.
-Proposals for emergency motions can be made from the floor.
-All minutes, reports and resolutions must be formally proposed and seconded
before the General Assembly can consider them.
-Amendments must be suggested in writing prior to the final vote on the resolution,
and require a vote of their own.