Share article:
Share article:

Racism most reported form of discrimination in 2019

Credit: Belga

Over 35% of reports of alleged discrimination concern racial incidents, according to the 2019 annual report of Unia (the Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities), detailed in La Libre Belgique on Monday.

This racial discrimination is of a systemic and institutional nature, according to Unia co-director Patrick Charlier.

Unia received 8,478 accounts of alleged discrimination in 2019, according to Unia’s annual report. No less than 35.9% concerned allegations of discrimination over race, skin colour, nationality, descent or origin.

Related Articles

 

“Historically, at least a quarter of the cases opened have been linked to these so-called racial criteria. For me, this is an illustration that the issue of racism remains a topical problem,” Charlier said.

“There is a kind of consensus in our society to condemn racism in general and individual behaviour of racism. If someone is attacked on the basis of their skin colour, there are few people in the political, associative or other spectrum who will accept or justify it,” Charlier pointed out.

“But admitting that there are situations of individual racism is not the same as acknowledging the systemic and structural nature of the problem,” he insisted. Some people “accept to stigmatise individual behaviour, but say that our society offers every opportunity and that, if we fail, it is an individual responsibility,” Charlier said.

The number of reports of discrimination in general increased by 13.2% compared to 2018. “There’s a normalisation of hate messages on social media and on the street,” said Charlier.

Last year’s elections, in which the far-right Vlaams Belang was the major winner in Flanders, may have had something to do with that. “Some saw the results of those elections as a free pass to let themselves go. The tone of social debate became harsher, bolder, more aggressive.”

Racial discrimination was followed in frequency by discrimination based on a handicap (23.2%), religious or philosophical beliefs (12.7%), fortune, state of health, age, sexual orientation and other criteria.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Increase in number of people ‘asking King for mercy’ through royal pardons
More and more people living in Belgium have been seeking royal pardons, mainly for fines, largely as a result of it now being possible to send in ...
England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...
Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...