Belgian government takes major step in fight against racism

Belgian government takes major step in fight against racism
Credit: Belga

Belgium’s Council of Ministers on Friday approved the federal contribution to the Interfederal Action Plan to Combat Racism, Secretary of State Sarah Schlitz announced in a press release.

The package contains more than 70 measures linked to equal opportunities, employment, the economy, asylum and migration, health, justice, police, civil service, foreign affairs, digital services and mobility.

The ministers in charge of each of these areas contributed to the development of the federal contribution, which includes measures such as providing support for new academic research, particularly on neo-colonialism and decolonization.

Other key features include the integration of professional profiling into the basic training of the integrated police, so as to exclude any arbitrariness, and the introduction of voluntary discrimination tests in the federal administration.

The strengthening of the normative framework for combating cyberhate and the launch of a study to assess potential discriminatory practices in access to mortgage loans also figure on the plan’s list of intended initiatives.

“More than 20 years ago, in 2001, Belgium undertook at the Durban Conference to draw up an Interfederal Action Plan against Racism,” Secretary of State Schlitz recalled. “With these federal measures, we wish to assume our responsibility in the elaboration of this Plan which is eagerly awaited by the people concerned.”

“I have involved civil society in its development, and I will continue in this direction by relying on its expertise for its implementation and evaluation,” she added, disclosing that a monitoring committee made up of the associations involved in developing the package would be set up.

However, negotiations on the interfederal plan, which associates the other governing entities, are much more complicated due to the attitude of Flanders and have so far not succeeded.

Copyright © 2024 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.