France’s ban on a full-body Islamic veil classified by the UN as a human rights violation

The United Nations Human Rights Committee determined the French government’s ban on wearing the niqab, a full-body Islamic Veil with just a slit for the eyes, is a violation of human rights standards. In 2010, France adopted a law that stated no person was allowed to wear an article of clothing that conceals the face.

The UN received two complaints about this law in 2016 after two French women were prosecuted and convicted for wearing niqabs. The UN committee determined that this ban restricted the right to practicing religious beliefs and that France did not have an adequate explanation for this rule. The committee approves the notion that some states require individuals to show their face for identification purposes in specific circumstances, but they determine that a general ban is not justified.

France has 180 days to report what kind of action it has taken to solve this issue, including the compensation of the two petitioners and measures to prevent similar occurrences, including the possibility of adapting the aforementioned law.


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