In a significant development, the United Nations has taken up the issue of banning turban by the Government of France, imposed on schoolchildren by enacting the school scarf ban law.
The issue was reported to the United Nation by the Sikh Nation Organisation (SNO), led by Dr Manjit Singh Randhawa.
- French law means Sikhs cannot wear turbans
In a communication to the SNO, Maria Francisca lzecharrin, Chief Support Services branch of the UN, said a copy of the representation made by the Sikh organisation had been sent to the French authorities. The communication reads that the “summary of the case will be confidentially submitted to the working group on communications and the commission on human rights’.
Dr Randhawa while giving details of the case said the UN admitted the petition of the SNO under UN 1503 procedure, filed on March 17, 2004 against the French Government, for violating human rights of schoolchildren by enacting the scarf ban law through which “signs and dress, which conspicuously show religious affiliations are forbidden, in public schools of France. Under the 1503 procedure the commission has the mandate to examine a constant pattern of growth, violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in any country of the world. The procedures examines pattern of violations. Pressure is exerted on the state to change laws, policies and practise that infringe international human rights, according to supplementary information, supplied by UN Secretariat to the Sikh Nation Organisation.
The complaint filed under 1503 procedure are screened by the UN Secretary General and the chairperson of the working group on communications.