One in two Walloons wish that employers would hire non-immigrants in priority
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    One in two Walloons wish that employers would hire non-immigrants in priority

    Seven out of ten Walloons consider that discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin is widespread in Wallonia. The same proportion considers that this is a major issue. However, a little more than half of Walloons think that, given equal skills and qualifications, employers should hire non-immigrant workers as a priority. It is one of the paradoxes brought to light by the particular unit on “Immigration” within the recent Social Barometer for Wallonia.

    This has been published today (Monday) by the Walloon Institute for Assessment, Forecasting and Statistics (known as IWEPS).

    Per this study, produced between March and June 2016, taking a representative survey of 1,410 individuals aged 18 years and over, 70% of Walloons consider that discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin is either “very widespread” or “fairly widespread” in Wallonia.

    After discrimination on the basis of religion (viewed as being widespread per 69% of respondents), come physical appearance (59%), sexual orientation (53%), disability (46%), sex (29%) and age (28%).

    For 60% of Walloons, access to employment is the sphere with the greatest number of discrimination incidents, well above housing access (19%).

    However, whilst 74% of those surveyed consider discrimination of immigrants as an issue and 62% think that immigrants should have the same rights as other citizens, the majority approve of some behaviour which is, of itself, discriminatory.

    Indeed, 55% either “agree” or “fairly agree” with the statement that given equal skills and qualifications, employers should hire non-immigrant workers in priority to immigrant workers (55%). Likewise, 54% believe that non-immigrants should be given priority as regards housing allocation and social measures, compared to immigrants residing legally in Belgium.

    On the basis of this survey, 27% of immigrants said they had been subject to some form of discrimination during the last 12 months, compared to 15% of non-immigrants.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times