Humanists are naturally committed to social justice as a prerequisite to peace and happiness for the greatest number and see it as a moral failing to stand by while others are denied their civil and human rights. Humanistic social justice advocacy involves respect for the equality of all people, compassion for their dignity and welfare, and a conviction that positive change requires human intervention.
The AHA takes an intersectional view of social justice issues, recognizing that working to liberate all marginalized communities is the best way to lift the prospects of any one group. Humanism motivates us to act on a moral imperative to transform systems of oppression because they are incompatible with the aspirations of humanism.
Regardless of race, ethnicity, economic status, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious beliefs or nonbelief, or citizenship, all individuals have universal human rights that must be respected and protected. Achieving global standards for human rights and international adherence to institutions such as the International Criminal Court and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights facilitate enforcing individuals’ rights the world over.
That’s why the AHA is committed to addressing the various ways entire groups of people are dehumanized and targeted for social, economic, and political deprivations. This means disrupting various oppressive systems like cis-heteronormativity, white supremacy, and patriarchy through every dimension of society.
The AHA also supports everyone’s unequivocal moral and legal right to autonomy over their own body and reproductive choices, meaning we work to ensure access to family planning, contraception, birth control, emergency contraception, and healthcare services.
The AHA strongly affirms the inherent right of all individuals to freely make choices that affect themselves and their person, and we affirm the right to a fair and speedy trial by an independent judiciary, to habeas corpus, and to proportionate punishment. Capital punishment, prisoner abuse, high incarceration rates, indefinite detentions, extraordinary rendition, and interrogative and penal torture reflect an explicit disregard for standards of humane treatment.
Religion, tradition, and culture can no longer be excuses for systemic oppression. Respect for the civil rights of all people is necessary for preserving the dignity of individuals and of humanity.