Logo law and pluralism
Logo Università Bicocca

Kjeldsen, Busk Madsen and Pedersen v. Denmark, Nos. 5095/71, 5920/71, 5926/72, ECtHR (Chamber), 7 December 1976

Type Judgment
Case number 5095/71, 5920/72, 5926/72


The compulsory sex education in public primary schools  does not breach art. 2 of the first additional Protocol of the ECHR, as long as it conveys informations in an objective, critical and pluralistic manner.

Normative references

Art. 2 Prot. No. 1 ECHR


1. Although the definition and planning of the curriculum falls, in principle, within the competence of the Contracting States, pursuant to the second paragraph of art. 2 of the additional protocol of the ECHR, they must take care that information or knowledge included in the curriculum is conveyed in an objective, critical and pluralistic manner, in order to avoid any indoctrination that might be considered as not respecting the parents’ right of raising their children in accordance with their religious and philosophical convictions.

2. Where the introduction of sex education in schools aims to warn students about excessive frequency of out-of-wedlock births, induced abortion and venereal diseases and inform students about how to take care of themselves and show consideration for others in this regard, it is consistent with the public interest and, although it has a moral aspect, it cannot be qualified  as indoctrination. Therefore, if sex education provides informations in an objective and pluralistic manner, without  siding in favour of a specific kind of sexual behaviour, it’s not detrimental to the right of parents to raise their children in accordance with their religious and philosophical beliefs.