Unia (the Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism) is an independent, interfederal public institution which specialises in equal opportunities policies and non-discrimination. Its mission is based on the objectives set out in a partnership agreement between the federal government, the regions and the communities of Belgium.

Unia – Unia – Interfederal Centre for equal opportunities and opposition to racism and discrimination

Unia has three major objectives:

  • Promoting equal opportunities and participation for all, in all areas of society (employment, housing, education, welfare, leisure, culture, citizenship, etc.), irrespective of origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or philosophy of life.
  • Cooperating with the major actors in our society: political and public authorities, citizens, civil society, professions, social partners, academic world, international organisations, etc.
  • Promoting knowledge and respect of constitutional rights, more particularly anti-discrimination law, to ensure that these rights are respected and applied in Belgium, including through complaints handling, negotiation and strategic litigation.

Head(s) of institution

  • Patrick Charlier, co-director
  • Els Keytsman, co-director

Website

www.unia.be

Address

Rue Royale 138 Bruxelles 1000 Belgium

Year of establishment

1993 – Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism. In 2015 renamed to Unia

Accreditation status

B

Year of first accreditation

1999

Year of last accreditation

2010

Number of staff

107

Regional offices

  • Arlon
  • Charleroi
  • Liège
  • Tournai
  • Namur
  • Eupen
  • La Louvière
  • Mons
  • Verviers
  • Nivelles Aalst
  • Brugge
  • Gent
  • Kortrijk
  • Mechelen
  • Roeselare
  • Turnhout
  • Antwerpen
  • Genk
  • Hasselt
  • Leuven
  • Oostende
  • Sint-Niklaas

Mandate(s)

  • Equality Body
  • Monitoring body under CRPD Art 33(2)
  • National mechanism under CERD art. 14

Core functions

  • Monitoring
  • Publishing research, recommendations, opinions
  • Reporting to international and regional human rights mechanisms
  • Complaints handling
  • Legal assistance (without legal representation)
  • Advising government, parliament and other public bodies
  • Supporting the work of human rights defenders (antidiscrimination and antiracism)
  • Cooperation with civil society organisations
  • Human rights education and training (antidiscrimination and antiracism)
  • Awareness raising activities