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. It is imperative to recognize the commonalities of humanity such as compassion, dignity, and reason.
The AHA takes an intersectional view of social justice issues, recognizing that working for the rights of all oppressed groups is the best way to lift the prospects of any one group. Regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, economic status, political affiliation, religious beliefs or nonbelief, citizenship, sexual orientation, or gender identity, 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 are essential to enforcing individuals’ rights the world over.
That’s why the AHA, on its own and through work in coalitions, seeks to address a wide variety of social problems from racial profiling and disparate pay scales to prejudicial violence and intimidating heteronormativity. The AHA also supports every woman’s unequivocal moral and legal right to autonomy over her own body and reproductive choices, meaning we work to ensure women’s 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.