Share article:
Share article:

Demonstration in favour of migrants on hunger strike

© Belga

About 100 persons staged a demonstration on Saturday in support of undocumented migrants currently on a hunger strike at the Béguinage Church in Brussels, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

“They are fighting with their bodies solely for humanity and dignity,” the demonstrators said. “The silence and deafness of the authorities with respect to the fate of these persons must cease.”

Undocumented persons have been fighting for years for the right to work. They have been asking to be incorporated into professions facing labour shortages and other sectors that have been finding it difficult to fill vacancies during the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Having a profession is a basic precondition for regularisation on the basis of work, but the migrants also face additional hurdles, as Father Daniel Alliet pointed out.

“Do you know, for example, that the profession of domestic helper is not recognised as a labour-strapped profession, whereas a survey shows that no woman with a Belgian nationality wishes to exercise that profession?” he asked.

“Many of these people are already exercising this profession clandestinely. They want nothing more than to be able to do so officially,” Father Daniel said. “They also need to be paid officially, but that is ‘too expensive,’ so to speak. That’s why this profession is not recognised as a labour-strapped one.”

Lawyer Alexis Deswaef feels there needs to be a clear law with clear criteria for regularisation. “These are people who can no longer be regularised since their residence-permit applications are ‘inadmissible’,” he noted. “They first have to return to their countries of origin and file the application from there. If they do so, they will of course be told to remain there.”

“The law needs to be amended so that these persons no longer face this ‘inadmissibility,’ but can focus on their insertion into society, their professional career or their children’s education,” the lawyer added. “It’s much too easy for politicians to show their muscles to a particular electoral base.”

The Brussels Times

Latest news

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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Brussels bars linked to alleged sexual assault vouch to improve women’s safety
The management of the two bars in Ixelles, which made headlines in recent days after several young women reported that they had been drugged then ...
European Council: Decisions on Covid-19 and energy and debate on other issues
At the two-days summit which ended on Friday, the European Council adopted conclusions on COVID-19, digital, energy prices, migration, trade and ...
Flanders ‘water bomb’ could cause €2 billion in damages and affect thousands
The next "water bomb" or heavy rainfall over Flanders could cause damages estimated at around €2 billion, and could affect up to 100,000 people in ...
Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine 90% effective in 5 to 11-year-olds
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic forms of the coronavirus in children aged five to 11, Pfizer announced on ...