WORLD: USCIRF releases report on religious garb and International Human Rights Law

USCIRF (20.11.2023) – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released the following new report:


Religious Garb Restrictions and International Human Rights Law – This report analyzes how countries impermissibly restrict individuals’ freedom to wear garb expressing or in accordance with their religion or belief. These restrictions typically involve governments either prohibiting or mandating the wearing of religious garb. Examples of dressing in accordance with one’s religion or belief include Muslim women wearing the hijab, Sikh men wearing the turban, Jewish men wearing the kippah, and Christians displaying the cross. The report explains why such restrictions are inconsistent with Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which protects the right to freedom of religion or belief. The report concludes that repealing legislation restricting individuals’ freedom to wear garb in accordance with their religion or belief is necessary to comply with international human rights law.


Table of Content


Religious Garb under International Human Rights Law

Laws Prohibiting Religious Garb in Public Spaces

Laws Mandating Religious Garb in Public Spaces

Government’s Obligation to Protect Individuals from Impermissible Limitations on Wearing Religious Garb in Employment Settings


Further reading about FORB in the World on HRWF website