A website to boost equal opportunities in municipalities
On May 9, Unia launched websites on which municipal politicians and officials can find advice and concrete examples on how to boost equal opportunities at the local level.
On the websites www.lechoixegalite.be, www.kiesgelijkekansen and chancengleichheitwaehlen.be, Unia, the Interfederal Centre that combats discrimination and promotes equal opportunities, has compiled around a hundred best practices aimed at promoting equal opportunities at the local level. In the run-up to local elections, candidates can thus easily find ideas for effectively putting their election promises into practice. These initiatives, collected from all over Belgium, have already proven their worth in other municipalities.
In addition to these concrete and innovative initiatives, Unia also offers practical advice for municipalities to help them determine their priorities and adopt an overall vision for promoting equal opportunities and combating discrimination towards their citizens.
A single platform
Unia’s aim in creating these websites is to streamline the work of anyone looking to put equal opportunities on the agenda in their municipalities. Time-consuming research on the internet is no longer necessary, as numerous initiatives have now been compiled on this single platform. The entire websites is available in French and Dutch and part of the content has also been translated into German.
There have been many initiatives for equal opportunities in municipalities in Belgium. Unia has made an initial selection thanks to its employees who are active in the field. But it also invites all municipalities and their citizens to share their best practices in order to add to the websites and inspire other local authorities through an ever-growing library of examples.
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.”
Unia is here for you - coronavirus or not
Pandemic or not, we are here to combat discrimination. Unia is here to listen and to help. Subject, of course, to the appropriate precautions. How does this affect you?
Number of reports of discrimination rises by over 13%
In 2019, Unia saw a continued upward trend in the number of reports and cases concerning discrimination. ‘The number of reports was 13.2% higher than in 2018, while the caseload increased by 6.9%. On social media, we are seeing harsher language, about people with disabilities, Muslims and refugees, for example’, says Unia director Els Keytsman. ‘There is a normalisation of hate speech on social media, as well as on the street.’
Unia recognised internationally as a National Human Rights Institution
Unia was recently recognised as a national institution for the protection of human rights, B status, by the competent international bodies. Unia received this recognition for its independence and commitment to human rights, such as the right to equal opportunities and non-discrimination.