Workplace racism at 15-year high
31 May 2006, BRUSSELS — The Centre of Equal Opportunity and Opposition to Racism recorded 1,022 reports of racism last year compared with 994 in 2004.
31 May 2006
BRUSSELS — The Centre of Equal Opportunity and Opposition to Racism recorded 1,022 reports of racism last year compared with 994 in 2004.
It said 15 percent of reports involved racism at the workplace; the highest figure in 15 years.
One-third of complaints of racism in the workplace involved discrimination in recruitment.
But the anti-racism bureau did not place the blame entirely on employers, pointing out that discrimination also occurs among employees.
It said unions could become involved in combating racism in the workplace.
Bureau chief Josef De Witte also backed a system in which immigrants send a fake job application to an employer suspected of racism to determine if those suspicions are correct.
But coalition government party Liberal VLD is opposed to the proposal, claiming it constitutes a breach of the privacy of employers.
The issue has already led to clash between VLD Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and the anti-racism bureau.
Unmoved, the bureau said the government should not head into the summer recess without agreement on the racism tests.
Meanwhile, the bureau also demanded in its annual report that both the federal government and Parliament place priority on the approval of new anti-discrimination laws.
Further, it urged for improved registration of hate speech on the internet and crimes linked to racism, homophobia and discrimination.
It said local reporting offices should be set up in large and medium-sized cites where residents could more easily lodge complaints.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news