Impact report for the February conference Freedom & Sexuality: LGBTQI+ Rights in the Commonwealth which was held in partnership Kaleidoscope Trust

Published Date: 
Wednesday, 4 July 2018

In response to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHoGM), which took place in London and Windsor in April 2018, Cumberland Lodge, in partnership with The Kaleidoscope Trust, brought together international students, global advocates, charity leaders, and policy influencers to discuss progress on LGBTQI+ rights in the Commonwealth.

Cumberland Lodge convened a two day residential conference (26 - 27 February 2018) Freedom & Sexuality: LGBTQI+ Rights in the Commonwealth for 35 international students studying in the UK, who have an interest in human rights advocacy. The programme addressed key themes such as ‘LGBTQI+ Rights: Progress, Barriers and the Global Obligation’, ‘Faith and Culture: Challenges and Opportunities’, and ‘Life without Rights’.

Background to the conference

The conference Freedom & Sexuality: LGBTQI+ rights in the Commonwealth aimed to:

  • give a voice to international students with an with an interest human rights advocacy
  • Support joint advocacy and create a network of international students across different academic disciplines, institutions and nationalities
  • Support the understanding of discrimination against LGBTQI+ persons in different parts of the world
  • Help inform The Kaleidoscope Trust’s engagement with the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHoGM).

Why do we measure impact?

This report visually demonstrates the impact that the conference had on the participants. Cumberland Lodge measures its impact by online surveys that are distributed to conference delegates both prior to and after the conference or project takes place. In more general terms, the purpose of measuring our impact is to assess our own work in order to make sure that we continue to strive to meet our own objectives and Cumberland Lodge's overarching aim, which is 'To build more peaceful, open and inclusive societies'. The targeted measuring of impact is important for individual projects as it allows Cumberland Lodge to identify areas that may need further discussion and work. The results of both surveys help to inform the approach that will be taken in follow up events. 

Survey Responses

  • 100% of participants either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement ‘I had the opportunity to meet peers and build a network with students who identify as LGBTQI+’.
  • 95% of participants either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement ‘I now have a broader understanding of Human Rights Frameworks and violations in relation to LGBTQI+ rights’.
  • 100% of participants either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement ‘I learnt more about the Commonwealth as a platform for discussing social and ethical issues’.

‘Cumberland Lodge is indeed a good forum for challenging debate as it brings together people with various perspectives at the table to tackle sensitive issues. It reinforces networking between present and future leaders. It is a beautiful place and the welcome is warm and unforgettable. It is a safe place to open up & understand one another. It is the sample-world we wish to see outside its boundaries. This means a place where people can disagree with respect and where inclusion is the foundation’.   - Participant's response