Unia promotes and defends Human Rights in Belgium
Unia is an inter-federal equality body as exists in every European country to combat discrimination and intolerance. Since 2018, Unia has been recognised by GANHRI as the National Human Rights Institute (NHRI). This status recognises Unia's role in the promotion and protection of human rights in Belgium.
By combatting discrimination and striving for equality, Unia contributes to the respect of human rights for all
- Unia gives individual support and guidance for people facing discrimination. We want everyone to be able to live in a society where his or her fundamental rights are respected, for example by combating discrimination on the labour market or incitement to hatred on the Internet.
- Unia carries out awareness-raising campaigns and preventive actions and draws up recommendations on equality and the fight against discrimination. The implementation of these missions also makes it possible to defend the fundamental rights of all.
Unia acts as a bridge between Belgium and the international protection of human rights
- Awareness-raising and information campaigns towards the general public: we provide an overview of the various existing reporting mechanisms in relation to human rights. To the Council of Europe, to the European Union, to the United Nations: various treaties, agreements and institutions which all protect human rights.
- Publication of opinions and recommendations on the implementation and respect of fundamental rights in Belgium. For example: Unia has published an opinion in the press to draw attention to the respect of the fundamental rights of the elderly. Unia has also drawn attention to the fact that human rights must also be taken into account when introducing measures regarding the coronavirus combat.
- Contribution to the international protection of human rights:
- Unia is a member of ENNHRI, the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions.
- Unia provides observations to bring an impartial and independent point of view to International Courts and Committees. These observations are called "amicus curiae" or "third party interventions". For example, find here Unia's observations before the European Committee of Social Rights regarding the inclusion of pupils with an intellectual disability in the Federation Wallonia-Brussels.
- Belgium has signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Unia has been designated as the competent independent mechanism for the implementation, protection and monitoring of the Convention. In this capacity, Unia also contributes to the evaluation of the rights of persons with disabilities in Belgium. Read more about this evaluation.
International reporting: Unia participates in the evaluation of the respect for human rights by the state of Belgium
- Every five years, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in Geneva examines how Belgium translates fundamental rights into practice and into its regulations. This is the Universal Periodic Review. On the occasion of this review, Unia presents a parallel report, find here the latest report from Unia (2020). Read more about the human rights work of the United Nations. Are you an NGO? You can also contribute to the evaluation of Belgium.
- The United Nations has set up committees of independent experts to monitor the implementation by states of the various treaties that protect human rights. During the periodic review of Belgium, Unia informs these committees of the situation in Belgium and proposes recommendations. For exemple, find here de latest report from Unia to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) (2020).
How are our fundamental rights protected?
- By Unia as the National Human Rights Institute
- Through various mechanisms: