An IT specialist is not selected for an interview because "he’s non-European". A rent advertisement includes the words "no blacks". In the comments forum of an online newspaper, someone calls for "throwing migrants into the sea". A rabbi discovers a swastika on the front door of the synagogue. An asylum seeker is beaten up because local residents are opposed to the presence of a reception centre.
What is racism?
Racism is an attitude of systematic hostility or contempt for particular individuals or groups of individuals based on their nationality, skin colour, origin, national or ethnic origin.
- For more information: understanding racism
Racism manifests itself in different ways: in discriminatory acts, statements, writings or behaviour that is prohibited by law.
- For more information: conduct prohibited by law
But regardless of the individuals or groups that are directly targeted, racism is also harmful to society as a whole. See in particular our 2016 annual report: “Inclusion under pressure”.
What is Unia doing to combat racism?
Unia advises and assists people who are victims of discrimination, analyses the consequences of racism in our society, provides training in different sectors on diversity and raises awareness among public authorities on the fight against racism and discrimination by providing them with advice and recommendations.
- For more information: what can Unia do?
How can you fight racism?
Citizens, employers, landlords, teachers, politicians, everyone can contribute to a more hospitable and open society for all. We have listed a number of concrete actions for combating racism.
- For more information: Tackling racism
Victim or witness
Find content on Racism
Recent articles Racism
Unia filed a record number of discrimination cases in 2021
The number of complaints recorded in 2021 sadly surpassed the 10,000 mark. Unia, as a result, filed 2,379 individual cases of discrimination, hate speech or acts of hate - a record number.
Unia calls for urgent action to fight structural discrimination against people of African origin
To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Unia is publishing a report about the discrimination against people of African origin in Belgium and is making a series of recommendations. It is in the areas of employment, housing and education that the discriminations and inequalities suffered by this group are most keenly felt. "The contrast between their high level of education and their low level of employment is striking," says Els Keytsman and Patrick Charlier, Directors of Unia.
Recent publications Racism
Parallel report to the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (2022)
Did you know that 86% of family caregivers of people with disabilities are women? That the employment rate of women of foreign backgrounds is still lower than that of men, that they are more often employed in part-time jobs, with lower wages or in specific employment sectors, such as domestic help?
Data on (in)equality & discrimination in Belgium: results of the project ‘Improving equality data collection in Belgium’ (2021)
"Improving equality data collection in Belgium” (IEDCB) is a Belgian project co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) programme of the Directorate-General for Justice of the European Commission. It was realised thanks to a partnership between Unia and the Equal Opportunities Team of the Federal Public Service for Justice. The project aims to improve the collection and processing of equality data in Belgium.
Frequently Asked Questions on Racism
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