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The Kaleidoscope Trust launches today Collaboration and Consensus, a groundbreaking report into the challenges faced by LGBT people in the Commonwealth. The report, co-authored with The Royal Commonwealth Society, examines some of the ways in which Commonwealth institutions, nations and civil society can begin to use some of the unique mechanisms of the Commonwealth to address discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The report is the first in a series of papers looking at how the rights of LGBT people can be addressed within the Commonwealth context.

Of the 53 Commonwealth member states, 41 have laws that act to criminalise LGBT people. However, while the report presents the challenges caused by discriminatory legislation and attitudes, it also highlights the positive developments that are arising in law, Commonwealth actions and national processes. The report investigates how the strengths of the Commonwealth can be used to move away from the perceived polarisation within the Commonwealth and towards a Commonwealth consensus.

Speaking about the report, the Trust’s Acting Executive Director, Alistair Stewart said:

“The colonial history of the Commonwealth has left it with a serious problem combatting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This groundbreaking piece of work begins to map out some uniquely Commonwealth solutions to this problem – solutions that play to the Commonwealth’s strengths and could make it an effective forum for positive change for the millions of LGBT people that live across its member states.”

Read the report