Belgium Belgium


ECRI Report, (fifth monitoring cycle). Published on 25 February 2014

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Type of publication


Geographical coverage


Area/location of interest

Not applicable - national level

Type of Institution

Monitoring body


ECRI | European Commission against Racism and Intolerance | Council of Europe

Main Thematic Focus

Racism & xenophobia Discrimination

Target Population

Muslims Migrants People with migrant background

Key findings

Ethnic and religious groups, in particular Muslims, continue to face in general many disadvantages, including discrimination in key fields of life. Muslims are often represented in a negative way in the public debate.
The law banning the full veil and the failure of a number of local authorities to authorise the opening of mosques have further strengthened the Muslim Community’s feeling that they are the target of discrimination.
A large number of racism, xenophobia, discrimination and homophobia cases are dropped by prosecutors.
The situation concerning hate speech on the Internet is extremely worrying with a sharp increase in racist webpages and discussion fora on Belgian sites. Until now, the Federal Police and the Prosecution Service did not record hate speech as a specific category of a criminal offence.

Methodology (Qualitative/Quantitative and exact type used, questionnaires etc)

The working methods for the preparation of the reports involve documentary analyses, a visit to the country concerned, and then a confidential dialogue with the national authorities.

Sample details and representativeness

ECRI’s reports are analyses based on a great deal of information gathered from a wide variety of sources.

DISCLAIMERThe information presented here is collected under contract by the FRA's research network FRANET. The information and views contained do not necessarily reflect the views or the official position of the FRA.