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Dahlab v. Switzerland, dec., No.42393/98, ECtHR (Second Section), 15 February 2001

Type Judgment
Case number 42393/98


The prohibition imposed on a public elementary school teacher to wear a headscarf does not breach article 9 of the ECHR.

Normative references

Art. 9 ECHR


The prohibition to wear the Islamic headscarf during lessons imposed on a teacher of very young children in the field of public education is justified in principle and proportionate to the declared objective of protecting the rights and freedoms of others, public order and public security and therefore is necessary in a democratic society. The use of a veil could, in fact, have a proselytising effect, as it is imposed on women by a Koranic precept and it is difficult to reconcile with the principle of equality between the sexes. It therefore seems difficult to reconcile the use of an Islamic headscarf with the message of tolerance, respect for others and, above all, equality and non-discrimination which, in a democratic society, each teacher must transmit to his students.