Number of new discrimination cases at Unia rises by 20 percent
Unia received no fewer than 5,619 reports of discrimination in 2016. These led to 1,907 case files being opened concerning possible discrimination, hate speech or hate crimes. This represents an increase of 20 percent from 2015.
Most of the cases concern discrimination on grounds of race (30 percent), followed by disability (28 percent) and religious convictions (14 percent).
Do these figures show that there is more discrimination in our society? ‘No,’ says Els Keytsman, Unia’s director. ‘The figures provide a picture of our country and of Unia’s activities. Increased awareness of Unia and a number of cases covered in the media partly explain the overall rise.’
‘Although we cannot say that discrimination in our society is on the increase, what we can say for sure is that there is growing awareness of discrimination and that people are reporting it more. However, our figures and trends indicate some specific problems that call for a systematic response.’
Unia was contacted most frequently about discrimination in the area of work in 2016, with a total of 1,098 reports, up around 55% from 2015. The increase was mainly recorded in the public and commercial sectors. Most of the other reports we received were in the areas of goods and services (1,068 reports) and the media (624 reports).
Regarding the grounds of discrimination, the highest number of reports received by Unia (1,647) concerned racial discrimination. A further 852 reports related to discrimination on grounds of disability, and 762 to religious or philosophical convictions.
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.
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.
Opinion: antidiscrimination or Bruges lace
Below is an editorial written by Patrick Charlier, co-director of Unia, published today in La Libre. Unia will defend his assessment of the Antidiscrimination Law this Wednesday at the Commission: we need to fill the gaps.
#GiveMe1Minute video competition: more than 100 schools against racism
"The #GiveMe1Minute video competition will be held again," announced Els Keytsman, director of Unia, at the school competition's first award ceremony in Kazerne Dossin. "More than 100 entries came in from the length and breadth of Belgium, and the competition was a huge success."