Freedom of Religion or Belief - image of a human hand outstretched to the sky

The first of three residential retreats in 2017 for participants in our newly launched Emerging International Leaders Programme will look at 'Understanding the Importance of Freedom of Religion or Belief'.

Fifty international students from universities across the UK will be joining us for the weekend, including 25 Chevening Scholars and 25 Commonwealth Scholars. They will be taking part in an introductory quiz, lectures, workshops, and group work based on case studies, to facilitate peer-to-peer learning.

Sessions will explore the importance of human rights, violations of Freedom of Religion or Belief, and why Freedom of Religion of Belief matters. There will also be a keynote lecture on 'The UK and Freedom of Religion or Belief'. During their stay, the newly selected participants will also have the chance to visit the Royal Chapel and have a guided walk in Windsor Great Park.

Details of guest speakers will be announced shortly. Please note that this event is only open to participants of the Emerging International Leaders Programme.

Equipping future leaders

The Emerging International Leaders Programme is funded by the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy (Foreign and Commonwealth Office), to equip future leaders and opinion formers with the skills and insight necessary to drive debate, influence policy and build a powerful global network in support of the right to Freedom of Religion or Belief.

The programme as a whole will address the following key questions:

  • Why is freedom of religion or belief important?
  • How does freedom of religion or belief intersect with other freedoms?
  • What are the successes/failings of existing national and international policies on freedom of religion or belief?
  • How can existing human rights frameworks be supplemented, supported and implemented?

It will invole multi-disciplinary discussions with academics, advocates, policy-makers and activists, and an analysis of practical responses to violations for Freedom of Religion or Belief, worldwide. Participants will also explore the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the role and position of religion in the public square, religious literacy and inter-faith dialogue, and the importance of Freedom of Religion or Belief in the contemporary, global context.

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