UN experts on race relations urge Belgium to continue with anti-racism measures

20 June 2005

A United Nations expert group on the social situations of people of African descent worldwide has welcomed Belgium's adoption of measures against racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and other expressions of intolerance and called for follow-up actions.

The Working Group, which met representatives of all levels of Government, as well as Belgian and African non-governmental organizations (NGOs), noted that employment, followed by housing, remained the area in which the majority of complaints of discrimination continue to be recorded and the field in which people of African descent find themselves more disadvantaged.

In the past year Belgium has passed national laws to fight racism and xenophobia and "provide for civil remedies against discrimination in various areas and on a wide range of grounds," the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent said.

"The experts encourage the Belgian authorities to undertake further awareness-raising efforts directed in particular to private enterprises on the issues of discrimination and the need for the work environment to reflect the diversity of society," the Group said, adding that the 62nd session of the UN Commission on Human Rights would receive its full report on Belgium next year.


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