“Racism and Xenophobia are priorities, but not every incident can be followed up”
Sunday, 10 September 2017
Three out of four racism complaints are not followed up, the Medihuis papers reported on Saturday. When appearing on Radio 1, the Justice Minister Koen Geens said complaints about “racism, xenophobia and similar incidents” are a priority and a referral magistrate has been nominated for each area. “But not every complaint can be followed up”, the CD&V Minister said.
There were 4,517 complaints about racism, xenophobia and similar incidents from the start of 2012 to last year. Three quarters of them have not been followed up. The proportion is the same for homophobia. 65.12% of sexual discrimination incidents are also not followed up, according to figures MP Elio Di Rupo gave the Justice Minster. There have only been 25 convictions for racism or xenophobia.
These low figures are explained by the fact that the perpetrator is often not known, and a lack of resources. Around 130 cases have been classed as “due to other phenomenon”.
Koen Geens has said that complaints about racism and xenophobia are a priority. But not every complaint is followed up. “The incident does not always fall into that category”, he explained. He does not deny the terrorist threat has kept judicial personnel busy.