10 January 2017

Switzerland: Court rejects Muslim parents’ human rights objection to daughters’ compulsory mixed swimming lessons

.... The court emphasised, however, that school played a special role in the process of social integration, particularly where children of foreign origin were concerned.

It observed that the children’s interest in a full education, facilitating their successful social integration according to local customs and mores, took precedence over the parents’ wish to have their daughters exempted from mixed swimming lessons and that the children’s interest in attending swimming lessons was not just to learn to swim, but above all to take part in that activity with all the other pupils, with no exception on account of the children’s origin or their parents’ religious or philosophical convictions.

The court also noted that the authorities had offered the applicants very flexible arrangements to reduce the impact of the children’s attendance at mixed swimming classes on their parents’ religious convictions, such as allowing their daughters to wear a burkini. [Council of Europe] Read more