Police and justice

A police patrol verbally harasses a gay couple, a judge refuses to allow a Muslim woman to enter the courtroom because she is wearing a headscarf, during a routine check, a man targets a police officer with racist insults, …

Fundamental role

The duty of the police is to maintain public order. They therefore have a fundamental role to play in fighting discrimination. For example, the police are there to listen to victims, record their complaints and search for the perpetrators of a hate crime or hate speech.

The police as perpetrators of discrimination

Police officers are enforcers of the law. Unfortunately, officers themselves are sometimes guilty of discrimination, hate speech or hate crimes. Read more.

The police as victims of discrimination

Just like ordinary citizens, the police can also be the victims of discrimination or hate speech. As representatives of the law enforcement authorities, they are entitled to extra protection in carrying out their duties. Read more.

What does Unia do?

Unia fights discrimination by and against the police by:

  • providing advice and assistance to victims of discrimination;
  • training police officers on antidiscrimination legislation;
  • helping the police zones develop an internal diversity policy.

In order to ensure that discrimination and hate crimes can be prosecuted appropriately, we ask police officers to work on the basis of the circular letter COL 13/2013 (Dutch and French).

This letter was drawn up jointly by the Minister of Justice, the Minister of the interior and the board of Procurators General. Its purpose? To improve investigation of discrimination and hate crimes and to strengthen the cooperation between the judiciary, police, Unia and the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men.

Victim or witness
of discrimination?

Report it!