A club refuses entry to young Roma people; an applicant isn’t chosen by a company because they aren’t European; a Moroccan woman and her family are harassed by their neighbours; a rental advertisement states 'No blacks'; a cafe-owner tells customers that 'neither Jews nor dogs are welcome'; someone in a discussion forum incites 'the deportation of Muslims'; etc.
Anti-racism and anti-discrimination legislation helps combat:
- direct or indirect discrimination: refusals to hire or dismiss a person, refusal to rent to someone, statutory measures concerning the criteria of 'religious and philosophical beliefs';
- hate speech: incitement to hatred, violence or discrimination;
- hate crimes: various acts of violence, physical and verbal aggression, harassment at school, at the workplace, while practising sports, over the internet and through social media.
Five so-called 'racial' criteria are included in the Anti-Discrimination Act: nationality, skin colour, descent, national or ethnic origin.
What does Unia do?
Unia combats racism in all its forms by:
- advising and supporting discriminated persons;
- information and awareness-raising campaigns, and training;
- establishing reports and studies, including the following annual reports: 'Discrimination/Diversity 2013' (Focus on Racism) and 'Socioeconomic Monitoring';
- informing employers about anti-discrimination legislation (especially through eDiv online training);
- providing the authorities concerned with recommendations;
- consulting with the sector, public authorities and associations.
Unia is also competent to act on the basis of the Negationism Law.
Victim or witness
Find content on Racism
Recent articles Racism
Unia worried about anti-Semitism in Belgium
Unia will today again press in anti-Semitism hearings in the Belgian Senate for the reintroduction of an anti-Semitism watchdog. The organisation will further ask Minister Kris Peeters, now responsible for Equal Opportunities, to take the first steps towards an inter-federal action plan against discrimination and racism.
European civil servant victim of anti-Semitic attack: perpetrator convicted
The Brussels Criminal Court ruled in favour of Unia and a European civil servant, declaring that the anti-Semitic hate speech and assault were aggravating circumstances. The incident was described as ‘serious and unacceptable’. Unia director Els Keytsman is concerned about the verbal abuse and threats against the Jewish community in Belgium.
Recent publications Racism
Diversity Barometer Education (2018)
Unia commissioned a study to be carried out about equal opportunities in the schools in the three Communities in Belgium. The Diversity Barometer Education is the final part of a triptych. The first two parts were about Employment (2012) and Housing (2014).
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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