The International Free Thought movement was scattered after WWII because of the direction chosen by the World Union of Freethinkers (WUF – in French UMLP), currently almost extinct. Some Free Thinkers’ organizations have joined IHEU, as early as 1952 or later, other organizations have remained in what is left of the WUF while others have chosen autonomy.It is the interest of IHEU to see this movement re-united again, in relation with IHEU.

That does not mean that all the organizations which will be Members of IAFT will have to join IHEU, even if all of them will be informed of that possibility, it means that IAFT itself will have functional relationship with IHEU so as to improve cooperation. This relationship can be transformed into the fact that IAFT be a Section of IHEU, if the by-laws make it possible.

Draft of a Protocol between IHEU and IAFT

International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) is the world umbrella organization embracing Humanist, Atheist, Secularist, Skeptic and Freethought organizations world-wide. Its aim is to coordinate, develop and represent the Humanist movement. Founded in 1952, IHEU is based on the founding Declaration of Amsterdam, which was updated at the World Congress in 2002.

IAFT is the International Association of the Free Thought (in French AILP, Association Internationale de la Libre Pensée). Its aim is to group organizations and individuals who stand in continuity with the World Congresses of the Free Thought, notably those Rome (1904) and Paris (1905), and are advocating secularism, democracy, free thought and freedom of conscience, guaranteed by the necessary separation of religions and the States.

IAFT was founded at Oslo on August 10, 2011, on the basis of the existence of the ILCAFT (International Liaison Committee of Atheists and Free Thinkers (in French: CILALP – Comité de Liaison des Athées et Libres Penseurs), created in 2005 in Paris and based on the International Manifesto for an Atheist Humanism adopted on this occasion.

IHEU and ILCAFT have started working together since the foundation of ILCAFT in July 2005, on the occasion of the Paris Congress of IHEU. ILCAFT meeting were held on the occasion of IHEU staturory meetings in 2008 (Washington, D.C.) and 2009 (London).

IHEU and IAFT decide to continue working in the same manner. They believe that working in common can develop both organizations.

Therefore, IHEU and ILCAFT agree to:

  • Promote synergy between IHEU and IAFT, notably by jointly organizing their regular meetings whenever it is possible:
    • IHEU provides a framework of meeting to IAFT using the presence of IHEU Member Organization officials
    • IAFT informs its members and friends of the existence, the nature and the general policy of IHEU and invites those who come to its meetings to participate in IHEU initiatives, particularly in World Congresses.
  • Promote membership of IAFt as a statutory section of IHEU.
  • Promote joint campaigns whenever it is possible, on matters of common concern (such as freedom of expression, Separation of Religions and the States, etc.)
  • Promote mutual information through exchange of publications, links to websites, and if it is possible the presence of observers in each other statutory meetings.
  • Hold regular meetings between both organizations so as to follow up the implementation of this agreement, adapt it if necessary, and exchange information useful to both parties

June 2011