The U.N. Human Rights Board has declared that France’s ban on full-face Islamic veils, such as the niqab and burqa, is a abuse of Muslim women’s rights.
The committee, a anatomy of 18 absolute experts that monitors how nations apparatus an all-embracing civilian rights treaty, said that France has bootless to abundantly explain why the 2010 law, which has appear to be accepted as a burqa ban, was necessary.
“In particular, the Board was not abiding by France’s affirmation that a ban on face accoutrement was all-important and commensurable from a aegis standpoint or for attaining the ambition of ‘living together’ in society,” the board said in a account on Tuesday. “The Board accustomed that States could crave that individuals appearance their faces in specific affairs for identification purposes, but advised that a accepted ban on the niqab was too across-the-board for this purpose.”
The committee, one of the abounding U.N. rights-monitoring groups accurate by the U.N.’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, added that the ban borders women who abrasion full-face veils to their homes, “impeding their admission to accessible casework and marginalizing them.”
STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN via Getty Images A woman cutting a niqab in Paris in 2014. The U.N. Human Rights Board declared that France’s ban on full-face Islamic veils is a abuse of Muslim women’s rights.
The burqa is a blazon of Islamic blind that covers the face completely, with a net awning for women to see through. The niqab leaves the breadth about the eyes open.
France’s law states, “No one may, in a accessible space, abrasion any commodity of accouterment advised to burrow the face.” Violators face fines of 150 euros ($172) or could be asked to booty a French citizenship course.
Although the committee’s rulings aren’t binding, they could access French courts in the future, Reuters reports. As one of the 172 parties that accept ratified the International Covenant on Civilian and Political Rights, France has an obligation to accede with the cardinal “in acceptable faith.”
France has 180 canicule to address aback on accomplish it has taken to apparatus the decision. Specifically, the board has asked France to analysis the law in question. The console additionally wants the country to atone the two French Muslim women who brought the case to the board in 2016 afterwards they were prosecuted and bedevilled in 2012 for cutting face veils in public.
The panel’s experts begin that the burqa ban “disproportionately harmed” the women’s appropriate to convenance their religious beliefs.
The accommodation contradicts the 2014 allegation of the European Court of Human Rights, which is not a U.N. agency. The board in that case, whose rules are binding, sided with France, accordant that the burqa ban encourages bodies to “live together.”
MIGUEL MEDINA via Getty Images French Muslim women alfresco the Grande Mosque of Paris on the aboriginal day of Eid al-Adha in 2012. Only a baby boyhood of France’s Muslim women abrasion full-face veils.
France was the aboriginal European country to ban full-face veils in accessible places, the BBC reports. Several European countries accept additionally implemented some restrictions on Islamic face veils, including Denmark, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands and Bulgaria. Added countries accept bans in municipalities or are because legislation for a civic ban.
Often, the governments arty the ban altercate that it promotes an “open society” and doesn’t ambition any specific religion. In some countries, the bans also apply to added accouterment that covers the face, such as balaclavas.
Opponents of these measures accept continued argued that they marginalize and unfairly ambition the tiny boyhood of European Muslim women who abrasion face veils as allotment of their airy practice.
France is home to Europe’s better Muslim population. Its estimated 5.7 actor Muslims accomplish up about 8.8 percent of the country, according to the Pew Research Center.
During the 2014 European Court of Human Rights case, French admiral told board they accept the cardinal of women cutting niqabs and burqas had alone acutely from 2009, back advisers estimated about 1,900 women in the country wore full-face Islamic veils.
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