Dutch Lower House votes to ban face-covering clothing in some public places

THE HAGUE, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Dutch Parliament's Lower House on Tuesday voted in favor of a legislation to ban the wearing of face-covering clothing in some public places.

The legislation still needs to be passed by the country's Senate.

It forbids the wearing of face-covering clothing such as burkas and niqabs, but also balaclava and full face helmets, in settings where identifying the wearer is considered essential, such as in government buildings, on public transport, in education and in healthcare.

Media reported that the Dutch cabinet approved the plan in mid-2015, but decided not to go as afar as banning wearing burqas on the street.

The Dutch government decided to back the legislation due to a "necessity to be able to interact face-to-face, for instance in places where public services are performed and safety must be guaranteed", but sees no need to impose the ban on wearing face-covering clothing in all public spaces.

Safety equipment such as helmets or full-face protection worn while working, playing sport or "during a festive or cultural event" is excluded from the ban.

According to Dutch public broadcaster NOS, around 150 women in the Netherlands wear a burka on a daily basis, while another 400 to 500 women wear a burka occasionally.

[ Editor: Jiaming ]


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