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Council of Europe Anti-Racism Commission to prepare report on Belgium

Strasbourg, 25 March 2013 - A delegation of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) visited Belgium from 11 to 15 March 2013 as the first step in the preparation of a monitoring report. During its visit, ECRI´s delegation gathered information on legislation, hate speech, violence, integration policies, LGBT questions and other issues.

The delegation held meetings in Brussels, Antwerp, Liège and Molenbeek with representatives of the Senate, federal-government and independent administrative authorities, the regions, communities and some municipalities, as well as NGOs.

Following this visit, ECRI will adopt a report to be published in 2014, in which it will make a fresh set of recommendations on measures to be taken by the authorities to address racism, discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance in the country. Among these, two will be revisited in two years’ time as part of an interim follow-up procedure.

In its 2009 report, ECRI highlighted, inter alia, the following concerns: shortcomings in the system of collecting data on the application of criminal provisions against racism; the obligatory dimension of the integration programme; and the lack of a sufficient number of sites for travellers.

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin, citizenship, colour, religion and language (racial discrimination), as well as xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance, prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States.

For more information on ECRI: www.coe.int/ecri

Link to the 2009 ECRI report on Belgium

Press contact: Stefano Valenti, Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 43 28, stefano.valenti@coe.int
Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax: +33 (0)3 88 41 39 11