Thursday, May 12, 2011

ICCL Consultation on the Veil in Irish Schools

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) is organising a consultation on its Policy Paper on the Veil in Irish Schools: An Equality and Human Rights Analysis .

The event is scheduled to take place from 2.15pm-4.30pm on Monday, 23 May 2011 in the Equality Authority, 2 Clonmel Street, Dublin 2 and is aimed at educational managers, educationalists, parliamentarians, public policy makers, legal practitioners, academics and members of civil society.

Corinna Ferguson [see picture above], Legal Officer with UK human rights group Liberty, will discuss her organisation’s recent success in representing 14-year-old Sarika Singh who successfully argued that her school breached race relations and equality laws by excluding her for wearing the kara which is a Sikh bracelet and a central tenet of the Sikh religion.

Tanya Ward, Deputy Director with the ICCL, will outline the ICCL’s recommendations in this area and seek feedback from interested individuals and parties (see paper attached). Ward will also summarise any feedback received to date.

If you are interested in attending this event, please rsvp by 5pm, Friday, 20 May 2011 to Joanne Garvey, Administrator, ICCL, 9-13 Blackhall Place, Dublin 7, Email: ; Tel: (01) 799 4504

About Corinna Ferguson

Corinna Ferguson is a barrister and has been a legal officer at Liberty since August 2008. She is currently working on cases concerning religious freedom in the workplace, the duty on the state to investigate allegations of inhuman and degrading treatment in an immigration detention centre and police photography of peaceful protesters. Ferguson is a regular contributor to Liberty’s Legal Clinic which is hosted by the Guardian Newspaper.

About the ICCL’s Paper

The ICCL has prepared a paper for consultation in response to the ongoing debate concerning the wearing of the hijab (head veil) in Irish schools and the Minister for Education and Science’s recommendations on the wearing of school uniforms. The ICCL’s paper considers the likely impact of the recommendations and examines whether exclusions of pupils wearing hijabs or niqabs (full covering) from schools complies with the State’s constitutional, legal and international human rights obligations. The paper also makes recommendations aimed at the Department of Education and Science, patrons of schools and school management and others interested parties in the education sector.

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