Annual report 2022

In 2022, Unia continued to fight on behalf of discriminated citizens. In our annual report, we look back at our efforts to combat discrimination and promote equality in Belgium.

Unia, a body promoting equality

Read the 'Unia, a body promoting equality' brochure. Available in French, Dutch and German.

In 2022, 7,310 people turned to Unia for help because they felt discriminated against, primarily because of their origin, health or a disability. We worked with them to find solutions to individual discrimination.

On a structural level, we provided 6,395 people with training, and collaborated with the following partners:

  • Local: communes, associations active in the field…
  • National: employers' organisations, the Federal Institute for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights…
  • International: Equinet, ENNHRI…

Finally, we adapted our way of working to reflect the changes in the human rights landscape and the 100% resumption of our services following the pandemic. This involved a move and a new organisational structure.

Studying and working on an equal footing

Read the 'Studying and working on an equal footing' brochure. Available in French, Dutch and German.

The Belgian labour market remained a multi-speed labour market in 2022, depending on people’s age, origin, religious beliefs, disability, health and other characteristics. In addition to investigating 532 cases of discriminated workers, Unia has focused on preventing discrimination and promoting equality in the workplace, and has put forward 6 concrete proposals

  • Reliable data,
  • A compulsory discrimination prevention policy for companies,
  • Training courses,
  • Positive actions,
  • Simplified situational tests,
  • Better recognition of evidence by the justice system.

And, because an inclusive labour market starts at school, Unia also supported pupils and students by:

  • Identifying legislative shortcomings,
  • Encouraging positive initiatives,
  • Training teaching staff,
  • Supporting victims of discrimination in schools (275 cases in 2022).

Hate speech and hate crimes

Read the 'Hate speech and hate crimes' brochure. Available in French, Dutch and German.

Faced with an increasingly polarised society, Unia is concerned about widespread hate speech. Alongside its individual support (312 cases closed), Unia has issued a series of recommendations to politicians, academics and other public officials.

Unia also closed 322 cases of hate crime (assault, battery, harassment, etc.). In most of these cases, the motive was racial hatred, followed by sexual orientation. Unia went to court alongside the victims on numerous occasions and collaborates with the police in a preventive capacity.

In 2022, Unia also worked on the influence of artificial intelligence on polarisation and extremism, as well as the physical and psychological impact of hate speech and hate crime on victims.

Services open to all

Read the 'Services open to all' brochure. Available in French, Dutch and German.

The war in Ukraine drove up energy prices in 2022. This made finding housing even more complicated for many families. Unia encouraged situational testing in Belgium's three regions and at the local level to prevent discrimination in housing, which is primarily linked to tenants' income and origin.

The inaccessibility of public transport and scan-car parking control systems not designed for people with disabilities continued to cause problems in Belgium.

As for public services, Unia continued to train frontline workers and police officers. In 2022, Unia also focused on: 

  • The circumstances of interned, detained or institutionalised persons,
  • Intersectional discrimination,
  • The digital divide.