Religious education in Salta: Supreme Court hearings to begin

The laws and regulations that permit religious education in Salta province’s public schools violate the freedom of worship and conscience as well as other rights. We presented an amicus curiae along with other organizations belonging to INCLO.

Starting on Wednesday, August 16, the Argentine Supreme Court will hold four public hearings on the constitutionality of the laws that permit religious teachings in the public schools of Salta province, violating the freedom of worship and conscience as well as other rights.

The case that has reached the high court, known as “Castillo, Carina Viviana y otros c/Provincia de Salta, Ministerio de Educación de la Prov. de Salta s/amparo,” was initiated in 2010 by the Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC) and a group of parents who filed suit against the provincial state for imposing obligatory Catholic teachings during school hours.

CELS and five other organizations belonging to the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO) filed an amicus curiae before the Supreme Court because we understand the importance of the separation of religion and state. The right to equality and to non-discrimination demands that the state does not favor one religion above other convictions, be they religious or not.

In a hearing on August 30, we will present these and other arguments to demonstrate the unconstitutional nature of Salta’s provincial laws and regulations enabling religious education in the public schools. In addition to CELS, the organizations from INCLO that presented the amicus are the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU), Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) of India and the LRC (Legal Resources Centre) of South Africa.