The UN Human Rights Committee on Tuesday criticised France's so-called burqa ban, saying the law "violated" the rights of two women who were fined for wearing full-face veils in public.
The committee called for the women to be compensated and for a review of the 2010 law that forbids people from publicly wearing clothing that conceals their face.
"The French law disproportionately harmed the petitioners' right to manifest their religious beliefs," the committee said in a statement.
It added it was not convinced by France's claim that the ban was necessary for security and social reasons.
The two French women were convicted in 2012 for wearing the niqab, a veil with a slit for the eyes.