UN criticises France's ban on athletes wearing hijab at Paris 2024 Olympics

Women should not be told what to wear, spokeswoman for UN human rights office says

2016 Rio Olympics - Taekwondo -Women's -57kg Victory Ceremony - Carioca Arena 3 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 18/08/2016. Hedaya Malak Wahba (EGY) of Egypt celebrates on the podium with her bronze medals.   REUTERS/Peter Cziborra (BRAZIL  - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS SPORT TAEKWONDO) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.    
Picture Supplied by Action Images
Powered by automated translation

The UN human rights office has criticised France's ban on its athletes wearing the hijab at next year's summer Olympics in Paris.

"No one should impose on a woman what she needs to wear or not wear," said Marta Hurtado, spokeswoman for the office.

"According to international human right standards, restrictions of expressions of religions or beliefs such as attire choices are only acceptable under really specific circumstances that address legitimate concerns for public safety, public order or public health or morals, in a necessary and proportionate fashion."

The comments come days after French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera said French athletes would be barred from wearing a hijab during the Paris Games to respect principles of secularism.

Paris will host the Summer Olympics from July 26 to August 11 next year.

Updated: September 27, 2023, 9:23 PM