Event information

7 March 2023, 18:00-20:00
Register start 14 February 2023
Register end 6 March 2023

Downloads

Flyer >

To Ban or not to Ban: Religious Symbols and Women’s Rights

Human Rights Conversations

Portrait of an arab woman from the back facing a crowd at a feminist demonstration Portrait of an arab woman from the back facing a crowd at a feminist demonstration

Following the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini on 16 September 2022, protests in Iran have intensified and call for a change in Iran’s mandatory hijab law, which has been in force since 1979. The ongoing civil unrest has once again brought under the spotlight the role of religious symbols and the protection of human rights, and women’s rights in particular.

The wearing of hijabs is a particularly controversial topic which has given rise to conflicting jurisprudence in human rights law. If at the international level, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee has underscored that ‘the observance and practice of religion or belief may include not only ceremonial acts but also such customs as […] the wearing of distinctive clothing or head coverings’ (General Comment 22), the European Court of Human Rights declared the French ban on wearing of ‘any article of clothing intended to conceal the face’ in a ‘public place’ is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

This Human Rights Conversation organized on the eve of International Women's day, will explore the implications that legislative measures on hijabs, either banning or mandating them, have on the protection of women’s rights.

Moderator

  • Stefania Di Stefano, Project Officer, Geneva Human Rights Platform 

Panelists

  • Nazila Ghanea, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief
  • Ibrahim Salama, Chief, Human Rights Treaties Branch, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Marcia V.J. Kran OC, Member of the UN Human Rights Committee 
  • Shima Esmailian, Student, MAS es in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, Geneva Academy

About Human Rights Conversations

Human Rights Conversations are a series of events, hosted by the Geneva Human Rights Platform, aimed at discussing contemporary issues and challenges related to the promotion and protection of human rights in Geneva and beyond.

Video

Human Rights Conversations : To Ban or not to Ban: Religious Symbols and Women’s Rights

This Human Rights Conversation explored the implications that legislative measures on hijabs, either banning or mandating them, have on the protection of women’s rights.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Training course on the UPR News

A Successful First Year for the GHRP Training Hub

16 December 2022

In 2022, the new Training Hub of the Geneva Human Rights Platform (GHRP) conducted seven training courses – two regular courses and five customized courses – in Geneva, online and in the field.

Read more

A training course of the Geneva Human Rights Platform News

The Geneva Human Rights Platform Training Hub: Two New Regular Courses on Offer

17 February 2023

The Training Hub will offer, as of this year, two new annual training courses on business and human rights and on the implementation of international human rights standards.

Read more

Neurotechnology and Neuromodulation - Conceptual Illustration Event

Neurotechnology and Human Rights

6 June 2023, 10:00-11:30

In this Human Rights Conversation, panelists will discuss the challenges that neurotechnologies raise for the enjoyment of human rights and the current work of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee on this issue.

Read more

Event

Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 75: Reimagining Protection for a World in Turmoil

12 June 2023, 14:00-15:30

This event, co-organized with Amnesty International, will discuss the gains made since the UDHR adoption, challenges to the international normative framework on human rights and what the international community needs to do for a better future.

Read more

Garment workersto receive food from their factory during lunch time. This food is freely provided by their factory in order to ensure that workers eat healthy and hygienic food. Training

Business and Human Rights

4-8 September 2023

This training course will examine how the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights have been utilized to advance the concept of business respect for human rights throughout the UN system, the impact of the Guiding Principles on other international organizations, as well as the impact of standards and guidance developed by these different bodies.

Read more

Open dump Training

Protecting Human Rights and the Environment

18-22 September 2023

This training course will explore the major international and regional instruments for the promotion of human rights, as well as with their implementation and enforcement mechanisms; and provide practical insights into the different UN human rights mechanisms pertinent to advancing environmental issues and protecting environmental human rights defenders.

Read more

Online folders Project

Digital Human Rights Tracking Tools and Databases

Started in March 2023

This initiative wishes to contribute to better and more coordinated implementation, reporting and follow-up of international human rights recommendations through a global study on digital human rights tracking tools and databases.

Read more

Project

Follow-up Review Pilot Series

Started in November 2021

Read more

Cover page of the research brief Publication

Climate Change in the Security Council: Obstacles, Opportunities, and Options

published on May 2023

Erica Harper, Adam Day

Read more