UN committee: France’s full-body Islamic veil ban violates human rights

UN committee: France’s full-body Islamic veil ban violates human rights
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The United Nations Human Rights Committee found Tuesday that France’s ban on the niqab, the full-body Islamic veil, is a violation of human rights. 

The committee said France had failed to make the case for its ban and gave it 180 days to report back on any actions it had taken regarding the legislation. The committee’s rulings are not legally binding, but could play a role in the decisions of French courts, according to Reuters

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“In particular, the Committee was not persuaded by France’s claim that a ban on face covering was necessary and proportionate from a security standpoint or for attaining the goal of ‘living together’ in society,” the committee said. 

It went on to say that the ban disproportionately impacted women seeking to embody their religious beliefs and could lead to marginalization, according to Reuters.

The European Court of Human Rights upheld the ban in 2014. Its rulings are legally binding.

France passed the law in 2010. It states that "no one may, in a public space, wear any article of clothing intended to conceal the face.” Anyone publicly wearing a veil over their face is subject to a fine of 150 euros or lessons in French citizenship.

Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and the German state of Bavaria have all implemented varying degrees of a ban on face veils in public.