Boris van der Ham

Boris van der Ham
Former Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands
In office
May 23, 2002  September 19, 2012
Personal details
Born Boris van der Ham
(1973-08-29) August 29, 1973
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Political party Democrats 66
Residence Amsterdam
Alma mater Maastricht Academy of Dramatic Arts (BA)
Occupation Politician, actor, writer, chairman Dutch Humanists

(Dutch) Boris van der Ham website (English)

Boris van der Ham's voice
Recorded November 2016

Boris van der Ham (born August 29, 1973) is a Dutch writer, humanist, former politician and actor. On May 23, 2002, he became a member of the Dutch House of Representatives for Democrats 66, a social liberal party. Since November 24, 2012, he has been the chairman of the Dutch Humanist Association.[1]


Van der Ham grew up in Nieuwkoop, and followed high school at Ashram College. He studied history at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences before being admitted to Maastricht Academy of Dramatic Arts. After graduating he worked as an actor for various theater groups. Van der Ham was a member of the Young Democrats from age 15. From 1998 to 2000 he was their chairman.

Member of Parliament

In May 2002, Van der Ham was elected Member of Parliament. He was re-elected in 2003, 2006 and 2010 with preferential votes. Together with members of GreenLeft and the Dutch Labour Party he drafted the bill that led to the first Dutch referendum in 2005 in two hundred years. It concerned the European Constitution. He drafted several bills for equal rights, for abolishing the ban on blasphemy in the Dutch Law, reform a ban on shopping on Sundays and a reform of the formation of the government. In November 2006, he also became vice-Parliamentary group leader. He focused on matters of education, drug policy, culture, mass media, economic affairs, environment and energy, social equality, democracy and freedom of speech. In 2007 he wrote a book "In the front row" (Voortrekkers en Baanbrekers) about the role of the Netherlands in the European Union after the referendum of 2005.[2] In 2012 he published a book "The Morality of Freedom" ("De Vrije Moraal") about the history and dilemmas of permissive societies.[3] In 2012 he decided not to run for a new term in Parliament, and said he wanted a political 'time-out' for a while. He was MP till September 19, 2012.

Chairman of the Dutch Humanists

In November 2012 he was elected chair of the Dutch Humanist Association. In this position he is focusing on issues of freedom of speech, education and solidarity with atheists and humanists in Muslim-majority countries. Since January 2010, he has maintained a weekly vlog on YouTube about freethinking, humanism and liberalism.[4] On 9/11 2009 he produced his first English spoken Freethoughtvlog[5] about the Ground 0 Mosque. He is also publishing English written blogs on his website.[6] In 2015 he featured in the documentary Among Nonbelievers about the hardships of ex-Muslims, and speeched at the Human Rights Counsil in Geneva on the topic of blasphemy laws.[7]

Personal life

Boris van der Ham was raised a Remonstrant, but turned an agnostic later on. He is openly gay[8] and father of a son.[9]




External links

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