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Austria plans to ban headscarfs for children in nursery and primary schools 'so they are free to integrate'

  • Austria is considering banning the head wear for girls in primary schools
  • Country's education ministry wants draft law ready by summer this year
  • Idea floated by Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of Freedom Party

Austria is planning to ban headscarfs for children in nursery and primary schools 'so they are free to integrate'.

The country's education minister Heinz Fassmann revealed a draft law ready by summer in what he called a largely 'symbolic act'.

Plans to outlaw the wearing of headscarfs in kindergartens and primary schools for girls were mooted by Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the far-right Freedom Party.

Austria is planning to ban headscarfs for children in nursery and primary schools 'so they are free to integrate' (file picture)

Austria is planning to ban headscarfs for children in nursery and primary schools 'so they are free to integrate' (file picture)

He said girls under ten 'must be protected' and should be able to 'integrate and develop freely'.

The idea was backed by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the centre-right People's Party as he layed out the intention for 'all girls in Austria to have the same opportunities', the Local reports.

According to Austrian media, the education ministry has not been able to produce statistics on the number of pupils who currently wear headscarfs to school

It comes after restrictions came into force in Austria last year outlawing full face coverings and other items that conceal the face in public places and buildings.

Restrictions came into force in Austria last year outlawing full face coverings and other items that conceal the face in public places and buildings(file picture)

Restrictions came into force in Austria last year outlawing full face coverings and other items that conceal the face in public places and buildings(file picture)

But last month it emerged that the ban has seen more people booked for wearing animal costumes, skiing gear and smog masks than Islamic veils. 

Also prohibited under the 'integration policy' are clown disguises, medical masks and scarves to cover faces, with residents only permitted under certain conditions to wear them in public.

But since the law came into effect in October, police say only four of 29 charges concerned burkas – with those cases relating to just one woman.

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