Ghent draws up plan of action to fight racism and discrimination

The city authorities in Ghent (East Flanders) have drawn up a plan to address the issue of racism and discrimination against people because of their age, handicap or sexual orientation. The plan aims to make victims better equipped to stand up for themselves in the face of discrimination. The city authorities hope to address the issue of racism and discrimination on the housing market, at the workplace and in education. 

The City of Ghent’s new action plan was published on Friday morning. The city authorities in Ghent have long been making efforts to tackle racism and discrimination in the East Flemish city. 

For example, checks have been carried out on those letting out houses and flats to ensure that they treat people from all backgrounds in the same way when they make enquires about their properties. The same method will now be applied to the labour market. Also included in the plan are measures to help victims of racism and discrimination. The plan contains a total of 32 measures. 

Hidden camera images

The city authorities will launch a campaign with films that have been shot using concealed cameras. The films will show how victims and by-standers reacted when they are confronted with racist or discriminatory behaviour.

One of the people that worked on the action plan Katrien Staelens told VRT News that “People mostly don’t know how to react when they are confronted with hateful language. It takes courage to stand up against this both for victims and for by-standers that have witnessed it".

The city authorities will offer courses on how to react if you are confronted with this kind of behaviour. Those that wish to can enroll via the City of Ghent’s website. The measures in the plan will run between now and the end of 2024.

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