‘Swiss Muslim girls must swim with boys’: European Court

Geneva: Switzerland on Tuesday won a case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) obliging Muslim parents to send their children to mixed swimming lessons.

It said authorities were justified in giving precedence to enforcing “the full school curriculum” and the children’s “successful integration” into society, the BBC reported.

The ECHR acknowledged that religious freedom was being interfered with.

The case was brought by two Swiss nationals of Turkish origin who refused to send their teenage daughters to the compulsory mixed lessons.

Education officials, however, said that exemptions were available only for girls who had reached the age of puberty — which the girls had not reached at the time.

In 2010, after a long-running dispute, the parents were ordered to pay a fine of almost 1,300 euros ($1,375) “for acting in breach of their parental duty”.

The court said Switzerland was free to design its education system “according to their needs and traditions”.