Previous launch events

To mark the annual publication of its Key Countries Edition, Humanists International holds a launch event. Below you can find details of launch events from each year of the Report.


On 2 December, Othmar Karas MEP, First Vice-President of the European Parliament, hosted a pre-launch event under the auspices of the Article 17 Dialogue with churches, religious associations or communities, philosophical and non-confessional organizations.

Guest speakers included:

  • Andrew Copson, President of Humanists International
  • Elizabeth O’Casey, Director of Advocacy, Humanists International
  • Ionel Zamfir, Policy Analyst, European Parliamentary Research Service
  • Gáspár Békés, founding member of the Hungarian Atheist Association (via video message)

The event focussed its attention on the situation for the non-religious in European nations, highlighting particularly events in Hungary, Poland, France, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus.

Images courtesy of European Parliament


On 16 November – the International Day of Tolerance – the 10th Key Countries edition was launched at an online event organized by Humanists International Member the American Humanist Association. Speakers include Congressman Raskin, USCIRF Commissioner Anurima Bhargava, director of the International Religious Freedom Office of the State Department Dan Nadel, founder of Aware Girls Gulalai Ismail, and Humanists International president Andrew Copson.


Launched mid-global pandemic on 10 December – Human Rights Day – the 9th edition of the Report focused on the impact of COVID-19 on the rights of the non-religious with an online event including Dr Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, USCIRF Commissioner Rev. Fred Davie, Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir – Mauritanian blogger and anti-slavery activist – Debbie Goddard, Vice-President of American Atheists, Andrew Copson, President of Humanists International, and Emma Wadsworth-Jones, Casework & Campaigns Manager at Humanists International.


European Parliament played host to the launch of the 2019 Key Countries Edition.

Speakers included: Mairead McGuinness MEP, Vice President of the European Parliament, Dr. Philippe Perchoc, Policy Analyst, European Parliament, and Peter van Dalen MEP, co-Founder and co-Chairman of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance .


The 7th annual Freedom of Thought Report was launched at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

At event organized by the European Humanist Federation, the Report’s editor Bob Churchill introduced the 2018 edition. He emphasized how the suppression of “humanist values” factors in the Report, and how laws against ‘apostasy’ and ‘blasphemy’ directly limit the freedoms of thought and expression for non-religious individuals.

The report was welcomed by the event’s hosts: MEPs Sophie In’t Veld and Virginie Rozière, both members of the European Parliament Platform for Secularism in Politics, as well as by Dennis de Jong, chair of the European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief. 


At the launch of the 6th annual edition of the Report, held in Brussels, speakers included: Dennis de Jong MEP, co-chair of the Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Merete Bilde, Policy Lead, European External Action Service, and Prithu Sanyal, Bangladeshi Blogger.


The 2016 Report was launched at an event held at the European Parliament.


The 2015 edition of the Report was launched at an event held at the European Parliament, with speakers including Dennis de Jong MEP, co-chair of the Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Siddhartha Dhar, Bangladeshi blogger, and Heiner Bielefeldt, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

In addition, Boris van der Ham, President of the Dutch Humanist Association, Humanistisch Verbond, presented the Freedom of Thought Report 2015 to the Dutch Human Rights Ambassador, Kees van Baar, and 5 members of parliament on the Committee for Foreign Affairs.


Launched on 10 December 2014, the 3rd annual edition of the Freedom of Thought Report highlighted a surge in the phenomenon of state officials and political leaders agitating specifically against nonreligious people in terms that would normally be associated with hate speech or social persecution against ethnic or religious minorities.


The 2nd edition of the Report was launched at The Hague.

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