On behalf of UNITED SIKHS and CAP Liberté de Conscience, I address a critical issue affecting our Sikh community and the principles of religious freedom, values we all hold dear.
In recent years, France has become a focal point of concern due to its long-standing ban on Sikh turbans in state schools.
This ban, in place for two decades, violates the fundamental rights of Sikh students to express their faith by wearing turbans, under-turbans, and top-knot coverings, directly contradicting principles of human rights and religious freedom.
More concerning is the French government’s inaction, despite the United Nations Human Rights Committee’s 2012 ruling that recognized the ban as a violation of Sikh students’ right to manifest their religion, protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights. This landmark decision stemmed from a complaint filed by a Sikh student in France in 2008.
Notably, CAP Freedom of Conscience and UNITED SIKHS jointly addressed this issue at the United Nations Human Rights Council on September 29, highlighting its global significance.
We must unite to raise awareness about this grave human rights violation and press the international community to urge France to repeal this discriminatory ban. Together, we can uphold our shared values of tolerance, diversity, and religious freedom, working towards a world where everyone can freely express their faith.