The Canadian province of Quebec has passed a new law banning face veils.
The province’s parliament voted 65 to 51 in favour of the controversial legislation.
The new law bars face coverings for people giving or receiving provincial government services. It includes forcing those who use public transport to unveil.
The legislation is thought to be the first of its kind in North America.
Critics say it deliberately targets Muslim women.
“We can’t have the state tell people what to wear and what not to wear. That, particularly, when it’s applied in a way that will disproportionately impact some people, than others. That to me reflects a law that is discriminatory and that breaks the fundamental principle of human rights,” New Democratic Party leader, Jagmeet Singh said.
The French-speaking province’s liberal government, however, has insisted the measure addresses public safety.
It says the law does not target those wearing the niqab or burqa and will also apply to masked protesters.
The new ruling is due to take effect in July next year.