Mon. Jun 17th, 2024
UN Advocates for Personal Freedom in Olympic Attire Amid France's Hijab Ban Debate

UN Advocates for Personal Freedom in Olympic Attire Amid France’s Hijab Ban Debate

UN Advocates for Personal Freedom in Olympic Attire Amid France’s Hijab Ban Debate

UN stands against France’s hijab ban at 2024 Olympics

The United Nations (UN) has taken a strong stance against France’s decision to ban its Olympic athletes from wearing hijab during the 2024 Paris Games. “Nobody should impose on any woman what she has to wear or what she has to not wear,” Marta Hurtado, spokeswoman for the UN rights office, emphatically declared in response to the French sports minister’s announcement of the ban. The reason behind this controversial rule was said to be France’s strict adherence to secularism.

France’s rationale for the ban

French Sports Minister Emilie Audia-Castera defended the government’s decision, saying it aimed to prevent the display of religious symbols during sporting events, thereby ensuring neutrality in public services. The decision is in line with France’s existing laws, which prohibit “ostentatious” religious symbols in state schools and by civil servants. The ban on full face coverings has also been in effect since 2010.

United Nations and Discrimination

Marta Hurtado referred to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, stressing that discriminatory practices must be eliminated. Recognizing that restrictions on religious dress may be acceptable in specific circumstances related to public safety, order, health or morality. Hurtado underlined the importance of ensuring that such restrictions are necessary and proportionate. The UN position emphasizes the need to respect individual rights and freedoms, especially in the context of international sporting events such as the Olympics.

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