We've long worked to expose the scandal of unregistered faith schools to
ensure all children have access to a decent education. Just a few months ago we raised the issue of illegal faith schools when we met Lord Agnew, the minister responsible for faith schools. We received assurances
that this was a priority for the Department for Education.
And now this focus appears to be paying off. This week we were very pleased to see two people successfully prosecuted for running Al-Istiqamah Learning Centre in
In many unregistered schools children are being given an education unworthy of the name – and religion is a key reason. Fear of offending religious sensibilities
cannot be an excuse to abandon children's rights.
Our lobbying has helped to secure this landmark prosecution. We will continue to push for more to follow. And we're keen to see tougher sentences which act as a
deterrent to those running these 'schools'. You can help to support our effort by joining
or donating to the NSS. Thank you for your support.
The NSS has called for reform of Northern Ireland's abortion laws after MPs passed a bill and an amendment on the subject this week.
Survivors of childhood abuse in Scottish care homes are to be given access to a financial
compensation scheme. Earlier this month, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry found
that children in two Catholic-run homes were subjected to a catalogue of abuse.
Councillors in Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire have voted to sell Beeston Town Hall to the evangelical
church Cornerstone, which is based in Nottingham.
Scottish politicians have urged
Pakistan's prime minister to lift a travel ban on a human rights campaigner who helped to expose Islamic schools linked to the Taliban.
Amnesty and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties have issued a
joint appeal for a 'Yes' vote in today's blasphemy referendum in Ireland.
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has given a national apology to
victims of child sexual abuse.
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NSS scholarship: deadline next week
The deadline for applications for the latest round of NSS scholarship funding is next Thursday (1 November).
The scholarship supports students who conduct research relevant to secularism and the promotion of human rights.
We're inviting requests for grants ranging from £500-£3,000. The scholarship is open to anyone publishing research in English.
What does "religious freedom" truly mean? While religious lobbyists commonly use terms like "religious freedom" to demand privileges, this conference will serve to highlight that true "religious freedom" means
freedom of belief for people of all religions and none. The conference will also explore the limits of religious freedom when it impedes on other human rights,
including bodily autonomy, equality and freedom of expression.
Other upcoming events include a conference on sharia,
segregation and secularism and a talk from our honorary associate Gita Sahgal in Nottingham.
"If you challenge extremism and defend human rights and gender equality, you will face backlash and abuse." Sara Khan, the
government's lead commissioner for countering extremism, in evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee