Witness to discrimination


What is it?

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.

  • For example:
    • Because of your origin or skin colour, you are not allowed into a nightclub.
    • You are not hired for a certain position because of your origin or skin colour.
  • Discrimination can be direct or indirect (more info on UNIA’s website).

What can you do?

You can report discrimination to Unia not only as a victim, but also as a witness!
This report can take different forms – see more information on Unia’s website.

You can also contact Unia to ask a question: online, by telephone or via email (see above).

To learn more about what happens after you report an incident, visit Unia’s website.

Witness to racially-motivated hate speech


What is it?

Hate speech means speech that incites hatred, violence or discrimination. Racially-motivated hate speech intentionally incites discrimination, hatred or violence towards a person or a group based on one of the five “racial” criteria: so-called race, skin colour, nationality, ancestry and national or ethnic origin.

What can you do?

Even if you personally are not the victim of hate speech, you can take action. The Unia website provides a list of suggestions to help you take action and let others know that you do not agree with a comment that has been published or with the updating of a status.

You can report discrimination to Unia not only as a victim, but also as a witness! Including when the incident has to do with hate speech. This report can take different forms – see more info on Unia website.

Witness to a racially-motivated hate crime


What is it?

Hate crimes are criminal acts that are committed on the basis of a discriminatory thought. 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 for example nationality, skin colour, ancestry or 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, in the street, etc.

What can you do?

  • Make noise to scare off the attacker and give the victim time to escape.
  • In case of an emergency, immediately dial the toll-free number 101.
  • If you do not want to take action alone, look around you to see if other witnesses can come to your aid.
  • Memorise as much information as possible (time, place, license plate, etc.).
  • If possible, take a picture of the attacker (or attackers), but without putting your own safety at risk. All these actions will be of great help to the victim, especially should he or she wish to file a complaint.
  • Gather the names and phone numbers of other witnesses to the attack.
  • Provide assistance to the victim and together decide on the appropriate next steps. Being able to count on testimony, even if it is anonymous, is very important for a victim.
  • Report the hate crime to Unia.
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