How to report hate speech or insults to Unia?

Have you been insulted because of a protected characteristic or have you witnessed discriminatory statements? Then you can report it to Unia. We will assess all reports in relation to the antidiscrimination laws and provide you with advice and support.

In Belgium, there is freedom of speech. Many forms of verbal abuse are covered by this freedom, and are therefore not punishable. However, there are situations in which public insults or statements are effectively punishable offences.

Not sure? Even if it turns out that the limits of free speech have not been breached, your report is useful. It helps us to keep track of current events and stay in touch with the latest societal developments.

How can you prove statements or insults?

In the case of verbal hate speech or insults, it is not always easy to provide proof. Here are a few important aspects to keep in mind:

  • Were there other people present? Then be sure to ask them if they would be willing to testify about exactly what was said.
  • Did you also report it to the police? Then be sure to ask for it to be explicitly stated in the official police report (the proces-verbaal or PV) that you were targeted on the grounds of a protected criterium, such as your skin colour, religion, sexual orientation, …
  • Also, always request a copy of the official police report (PV).
  • Present yourself as an injured party. That will ensure that you will be notified later of the final ruling.

Important: Unia can only open a case at the personal request of the victim. Have you witnessed hate speech? Then persuade the victim to personally report it to Unia.