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CANCELLED: Programme – registration 8 IAFT International Congress 2020: SECULAR SCHOOL AND SECULARISM IN EDUCATION The assaults on freedom of conscience in today’s school

VIII Congress of the International Free Thought Association, 2020: CANCELLED

To the secular organizations, free thinkers, humanists, atheists, masonic obediences, trade unions, educational communities, political bodies, and to all the institutions, networks and platforms fighting for the separation of State and religions, and for a true secular education.

Last february the VIII Congress of the International Freethought Association 2020 was officially convened in Madrid: “Secular School and secularism in Teaching. Attacks on freedom of conscience in today’s school to be held in Madrid on September 19, 2020.

The uncertainties that we have about possible mass meetings and regarding the movement of people between countries that, today, surround the global pandemic of COVI-19, and after several consultations, force us to call off the Congress. People who were already registered will receive a refund of the fee.

We will decide, in january 2021, where and and when will organize this Congress.

Europa Laica (Spain), may 4, 2020

8 IAFT International Congress 2020

SECULAR SCHOOL AND SECULARISM IN EDUCATION The assaults on freedom of conscience in today’s school

Madrid – Spain  

Saturday, September 19 – 9h30 to 20h00

Venue: Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid (Salón Ramón Gómez de la Serna) 42, Alcalá Street


The separation of State and religions carries the principle of integral secularism in educational systems, an essential condition for democracy, which needs to protect School from any dogmatic influence, in order to contribute to the training of a free and enlightened citizenry, with a critical capacity and based on the light of reason. Free thought has an international approach, and the construction of secularism, which varies depending on the historical and geographical context, has an international goal, as it is an essential principle for every DEMOCRACY being Schools the most suitable place to establish free thinking, secularism.

Thus, this eighth international Congress to be held in Madrid, organized by a member of the International Association of Free Thought (IAFT), will address the momentous issue of SECULAR EDUCATION, which has endured so many fundamentalist and dogmatic attacks throughout history and in the first two decades of the 21st-century, when said attacks have increased all over the world.


9.00 Reception of attendants.

9.30 Opening – IAFT – Europa Laica / Institutions  (fraternal greetings)

10:30 Inaugural Conference

The privatization of the educational systems as a factor of segregation  

Carmen Rodríguez Martínez

(PhD in Education and Permanent Lecturer in Didactics and School Organization at the Universidad de Málaga). 

11.15 Short Break

11:30 Presentation of Communications (no more than 10´ per communication)

13:30 Break (buffet for the participants having signed up for it)

15:00  Round table: discussion and analysis of the International situation.

*(Europa Laica, IREPL (France) plus 3 members of the IAFT per geographical areas, to be determined) 

16:30 Presentation of Communications

19:00 Conclusions – (Europa Laica – IAFT)

19:30 Closing 


Maximum length of 10,000 characters, including spaces.

Presentation at the Congress not exceeding 10 minutes

Communications shall be sent to the following e-mail address prior to 30 May 2020

The languages to submit the communications : Spanigh, French and English. 

Only one communication per person will be admitted. We can accept one communication signed by several people, in which case, if selected for the Congress, it will be presented only by one of the authors.

15 communications will be selected for their presentation in the plenary, with the following criterion: 1-Topic, 2-Territory of the author and 3-Relevance. All of them will be published, except for the ones the organization of the Congress deems out of context.

Topics of interest for the communications:

  • Principle of integral secularism of the educational systems.
    Freedom of conscience and religion in the curriculum.
    Symbology and rites at school.
    Privatization of education and segregation (government subsidy and similar).
    Religious fundamentalism in Education.
    Religious lobbying in the European Union and other international institutions.
    The Secular University/ (UNILAICA).


Limited places, up to 200 people, assigned in order of REGISTRATION, countries and regions, as well as the ones presenting communications. 

The closing date for registration is July 20, 2020.

In order to participate in the Congress, a registration fee of 10 € per person will be paid.

Those willing to join the lunch buffet shall pay 30 € (in this case, both the registration fee and the price for the buffet will be paid jointly, 40 €)

* If an attendee to Congress needs a letter of invitation from Europe Laica, to apply for a visa, you can request it by email:



Deposit in bank account  Europa Laica: ES42 0049 0001 5224 1181 3269

REGISTRATION (sin buffet) 10,00 EUR per person

REGISTRATION + BUFFET 40,00 EUR (10+30) per person


Through PAYPAL

* It is important that when making the entry, by transfer or paypal, the name of the person making it is reflected.

**If someone wishes to enter a higher amount, as an aid to the development of Congress expenses, they can.

REGISTRATION + BUFFET 40,00 EUR (10+30)  per person

REGISTRATION (sin buffet) 10,00 EUR per person

Registration form at the end.

Hotels: Madrid, depending on the dates, can get very pricey regarding accommodation. Rooms can be booked, as soon as possible, through any platform. 

**In any case, 15 rooms are already booked at a Price of 55€ per night, check in on September, 18, check out on September, 20, in case somebody would need it. 

**Those willing to book a room can send an e-mail to: // 

The booking of the rooms will be for the first requests up to May, 30, giving priority to the non-residents in Spain. 

After this date, applicants will have to pay a deposit in order to confirm their reservation. The bank account will be provided after receiving the request, as well as the name of the accommodation, a hostel in the city centre, right next to the Puerta del Sol, including a private bathroom and a little fridge, breakfast is not provided).

Outside the programme of the Congress 

**On the afternoon of 18, a meeting of the International Board of the IAFT will take place between 18:00 and 20:00 at a place to be determined, in the center of Madrid. 


**On Sunday, 20, as Free Thought International Day is celebrated, a public event will be held at 11 in the morning at a landmark of the city, to be determined.

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