Date range
12 April 2019, 3:30pm to 14 April 2019, 3:30pm
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We are launching this year's Emerging International Leaders programme with a residential study retreat on 'Understanding Freedom of Religion or Belief'.

Fifty international students from universities across the UK have already been selected to participate in this year's programme, through the Chevening and Commonwealth Scholarship schemes.

During their first retreat at Cumberland Lodge, they will be taking part in lectures, workshops, and case-study based group work to explore the contemporary relevance and importance of human rights and Freedom of Religion or Belief, in the UK and around the world. 

During their stay, participants will also have the chance to visit the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge, and to enjoy a guided walk in Windsor Great Park.


Participants will be welcomed with a talk on 'Why Freedom of Religion or Belief Matters' by Gehan Gunatilleke (researcher at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford) on Friday evening, followed by a drinks reception, dinner and ice-breaking activities.

On Saturday, Dr Kishan Manocha (Senior Advisor on Freedom of Religion and Belief at the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw) will be leading a session on 'International Human Rights Standards on Freedom of Religion or Belief', and participants will be taking part in group activities throughout the day.

The retreat will close on Sunday, with 'Reflections on Freedom and Faith', involving guest panellists:

  • Bob Churchill (Communications Director at Humanists International)

  • Esmat Jeraj (Editor of Missing Muslims Report and Director of Operations at the Patchwork Foundation).

Equipping future leaders

Our Emerging International Leaders Programme is now in its third year. It equips high-potential, emerging leaders and influencers with the skills and insight necessary to drive debate, influence policy and build a powerful global network in support of Freedom of Religion or Belief.

The programme addresses questions such as:

  • 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?

Delegates will hear from a diverse panel of speakers, including academics, journalists, legal experts and faith leaders.

Upcoming events

This retreat is the first of three retreats in 2019. The second retreat will take place in June 2019, on 'Freedom of Religion or Belief in Conflict', and the final retreat will be in mid-July, on 'Freedom of Religion or Belief in Action'.

Please note that these events are only available to participants in our 2018-19 Emerging International Leaders programme.

We will be tweeting from these events at #CLFoRB.

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