Unia’s work expressed in figures for 2015
One of Unia's statutory tasks is to deal with "individual reports". Hence, anyone can contact Unia to ask a question, request an intervention, submit an observation or raise any other issue relating to anti-discrimination legislation or the fundamental rights of persons with disabilities, as provided for in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Unia is legally competent to deal with:
- Discrimination, including direct and indirect discrimination, instructions to discriminate and harassment directly linked to the criteria specified in anti-discrimination legislation (see vocabulary); in the case of disability, this also includes a lack of reasonable accommodations.
- Hate speech (public expression of hate: incitement to hatred, discrimination or violence). This includes "cyber hate" (hate speech on the internet).
- Hate crimes motivated by hostility towards a person or a group owing to their origin, disability, sexual orientation or any other protected criteria.
If Unia considers itself competent to deal with a report, and if this report is more than a simple request for information, a file will be opened. It should be noted that a report or a file may involve only one criterion concerning discrimination or several of these criteria.
In 2015, Unia received 4,554 reports regarding potential discrimination, resulting in the opening of 1,596 files. This is a slight decrease compared with 2014. But in general, the figure has been on the rise since 2010.
Apart from areas within education, social issues and various activities, we have witnessed a fall in the number of files in other areas.
As was the case in 2014, the three main criteria were so-called "racial" criteria (38 % of all the files), disability (22 %) and religious or philosophical beliefs (19 %). This was followed by: age (5 %), sexual orientation (5 %), wealth (4 %), and state of health (4 %).
As was also the case in 2014, the three main areas concerning society were goods and services (24 % of all the files, including and especially accommodation), media (23 %, including and especially the internet), the labour market and work (22 %). This was followed by: education (11 %), social interaction (problems with neighbours or in the public space) (10 %) and the "various activities" sector, such as a cultural or sporting event, etc. (4 %).
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.
Unia’s work expressed in figures for 2016
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.
Annual report 2015. Living together put to the test.
The year 2015 left a deep mark on our society. Violent conflicts and tensions on a global scale have had a direct impact on us. As we finalise this annual report, Belgium is suffering the repercussions of the bomb attacks at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station in Brussels.
Study day 2016: Evaluation of federal anti-discrimination legislation
On 26 February 2016, Unia organised a study day in Brussels on the assessment of the federal laws on discrimination. In the course of the day, Unia presented its assessment of the Anti-Racism Law and the Anti-Discrimination Law.