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
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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.
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).