As the result of a traffic incident, a woman erupts in a racist tirade, a man follows a gay couple and assaults them, a vandal wreaks destruction in a Jewish neighbourhood and scrawls anti-Semitic slogans on the wall, …
Feelings of hatred towards other people can sometimes quickly escalate into verbal or non-verbal violence and destruction. Often, the perpetrator does not even know the victim, and the primary intention is to harm an entire group of people to which the individual belongs. This is the perpetrator's way of expressing the view that that specific group is not a desirable part of society.
Unia groups this type of incident under the header of ‘society’ because the crimes are committed in the public space, in a neighbourhood or a family environment. They generally involve hate speech or hate crimes.
More info about society
What does Unia do?
Have you been the victim of hate speech or hate crimes? Then you can report it to us. We will provide you with guidance and legal advice.
In exceptional cases, we will join you in taking legal action: but we do this only when the crimes are sufficiently serious, when dialogue with the perpetrators has proved impossible or in order to clarify the laws. We will never take legal action without your consent. If we go to court, we always strive first and foremost to arrange alternative measures rather than criminal penalties.
Victim or witness
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Jonatas and Tim testify: “In the end, every effort we made was worthwhile”
When Jonatas and Tim became victims of homophobic violence, they decided to take immediate action. They asked the police and Unia for help: two years after their report, the perpetrators were convicted by the court. We let Jonatas and Tim speak.
Unia takes a stand for getting along together, even in times of corona crisis
The corona crisis that is gripping our country has fuelled mutual distrust among citizens. “We notice that there is a strong tendency to look for culprits or scapegoats”, says Els Keytsman, director of Unia. “This is a trend that we must counteract. Nobody benefits from it. We would do much better to support the countless forms of solidarity created by the pandemic. The corona crisis is certainly not over yet. We have to learn to live with this virus without destroying the solidarity in our society.”
Recent publications Society
Carnival and the limits of freedom of expression
The carnival parades and popular festivities are usually rife with stereotypes (often) of minorities. The aim of this analysis is to approach the subject objectively, detached from the often highly inflamed emotions and intractable differences of opinion.
Evaluation of federal anti-discrimination legislation (2017)
Article 52 of the Anti-Discrimination Law states that the application and effectiveness of the anti-discrimination laws must be assessed by the Legislative Chambers. Unia has prepared an assessment report on the Anti-Discrimination Law and the Anti-Racism Law based on its own practical experience, national jurisprudence and its general expertise in the fight against discrimination.
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