React to Racism in Brussels

Racism – the belief that a factor such as “race”, colour, language, religion, nationality or national origin or ethnicity justifies disdain for a person or a group of people and the idea of superiority of a person or a group of people.

Victim of a racially-motivated hate crime

Hate crimes are criminal acts that are committed on the basis of a discriminatory. We refer to a hate crime when one of the reasons motivating the perpetrator is related to a characteristic – whether supposed or real – of the victim, such as the nationality, skin colour, and national or ethnic origin.

Hate crimes are different from other crimes: the victim is attacked because he or she belongs to a specific group. The perpetrator often seeks to intimidate not only an individual, but also an entire group. A hate crime can be physical or psychological, verbal or sexual: the goal is always to control the other person, to dominate him or her. Intimidating behaviour (intimidations, blocking movement, etc.) can also be considered an act of violence.

The act of violence can occur in the private sphere, such as the home, or in a public setting, such as the workplace or in the street.

This information can be found at the Brussels Capital Region website. The Region implemented a campaign in order to promote dialogue and tolerance between the different communities over the last months.

There is a growing and worrying rise of racism in Brussels the recent years. Even among our politicians we can unfortunately listen to harmful speeches – such as the one from Theo Francken.

Brussels a multicultural city

“With an impressive diversity of citizens, ideas, cultures, talents and identities, Brussels is a decidedly multicultural and heterogeneous metropolis”.

This is the introduction of the campaign “Reach to racism” launched by the Brussels Capital Region. For this platform, “diversity represents a crucial asset to the dynamic and potential of our Region, but also a number of challenges in terms of social cohesion and equal opportunities. Specifically, racism and discrimination based on racial criteria – such as nationality, skin colour, ancestry and national or ethnic origin – remain all too present”.

A call for proposal was opened last March 21, providing the opportunity to the organisations and stakeholders involved in antiracism to apply for a grant.  The central theme of this call for projects was combating racism and discrimination in the Brussels-Capital Region. Ten projects were selected (for a budget of approximately €100,000). The call for projects was open to proposals from associations wishing to organise an event on this theme between 20/11/2017 and 10/12/2018 (included).

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Discrimination is a crime

This website underlines an important fact to the community: discrimination is a crime. In principle you are discriminated against if, because of your nationality, skin colour, ancestry or national or ethnic origin, you are more poorly treated than another person in a similar situation. “You can report discrimination to Unia not only as a victim, but also as a witness!” explains the organisers. In order to do report a discrimination a specific platform named UNIA stands available to help. Anyone in Belgium who has been the target of discrimination or a witness to it can turn to UNIA.