Unanimity for a resolution affecting of mixed-race children
Wednesday, 07 March 2018
The House Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved Wednesday a motion for a resolution recognizing the segregation of mixed-race children in the former Belgian colonies. With this resolution, which incorporates proposals by Stéphane Crusnière (PS) and Sibylle de Coster (MR), the assembly recognizes the segregation of these mixed-race children and asks the government to make a solemn declaration on behalf of Belgium.
It also makes more concrete demands, in particular to take the necessary measures to solve the problems, which remain for certain mixed-race children, for example those whose Belgian nationality was withdrawn in 1960.
It also asks to facilitate the reunion between the children and their mothers through the collaboration of the Belgian embassies and to set up a mechanism which facilitates consulting colonial archives in Belgium.
In 1959, on the eve of Congo’s independence, the Belgian State organized the sending of a large number of these children to Belgium, where they were put under guardianship, placed in homes or adopted by Belgian families. In recent years, these children have stopped their silence and have formed an association.
The Métis Association of Belgium expressed its satisfaction after this vote. “Our history has been obscured, it was taboo, a state secret”, said the group’s president, François Milliex.
The fight does not stop, however. “The hardest thing remains to be done: we want a law”, he added.
This law would provide easier access to the archives, solve certain administrative problems, such as the absence of a birth certificate or allow individuals, still deprived of Belgian citizenship, to gain it.