The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Belgium

By Vexen Crabtree 2018


Comments:
FB, LJ

#Belgium #equality #freedom #human_rights #politics #tolerance

Belgium
Kingdom of Belgium

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
CapitalBrussels
Land Area 30 280km21
LocationEurope
Population10.8m (2011)2
Life Expectancy80.98yrs (2017)3
GNI$41 243 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesBE, BEL, 565
Internet Domain.be6
CurrencyEuro (EUR)7
Telephone+328

When it comes to ensuring human rights and freedom, Belgium leads the world, setting excellent examples. Belgium does the second-best in LGBT equality9. It comes in the top 20 in its Global Peace Index rating10, opposing gender inequality11, its nominal commitment to Human Rights12, fighting corruption13 and in supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms14. And finally, it does better than average in supporting press freedom15, eliminating modern slavery16 and in fighting anti-semitic opinions17. Human Rights Watch specifically states that Belgium's support of women's rights has been exemplary18.


1. Politics and Freedom

#antisemitism #Belgium #burundi #corruption #eritrea #france #freedom #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #mass_media #peace #politics #slavery

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)17
Pos.Lower is better
%17
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
...
35Haiti26
36Mongolia26
37Switzerland26
38Belgium27
39Germany27
40Slovenia27
41Austria28
42Latvia28
World Avg36.8
q=101.
Corruption (2012-2016)13
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score13
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
12Germany79.6
13Iceland79.2
14UK78.0
15Belgium76.0
16Hong Kong75.6
17Japan74.2
18USA74.0
19Ireland72.6
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Global Peace Index (2012)10
Pos.Lower is better10
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
8Slovenia1.33
9Finland1.35
10Switzerland1.35
11Belgium1.38
12Qatar1.40
13Czechia1.40
14Sweden1.42
15Germany1.42
World Avg2.02
q=157.

Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)12
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties12
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
14Italy22
15Denmark22
16Croatia22
17Belgium22
18Austria22
19Brazil21
20Montenegro21
21Guatemala21
World Avg15.1
q=194.
Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)14
Pos.Lower is better
Rank14
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
14Germany13
15Sweden15
16Malta16
17Belgium17
18Czechia18
19Portugal19
20Lithuania20
21Estonia21
World Avg79.7
q=159.
Press Freedom (2013)15
Pos.Lower is better15
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
18Costa Rica1208
19Namibia1250
20Canada1269
21Belgium1294
22Poland1311
23Slovakia1325
24Cyprus1383
25Cape Verde1433
World Avg3249
q=178.

Slavery (2018)16
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims16
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
30Bahrain0.19
31Korea, S.0.19
32Germany0.20
33Belgium0.20
34France0.20
35Bolivia0.21
36Iceland0.21
37Oman0.21
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory19. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends20. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life21. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves22.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery23. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity24. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.25. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi16, Eritrea16, Indonesia26) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery27.

2. Gender Equality

#Belgium #gender #misogyny #politics #women

Gender Inequality (2015)11
Pos.Lower is better11
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
9Germany0.07
10Korea, S.0.07
11Singapore0.07
12Belgium0.07
13Luxembourg0.07
14Austria0.08
15Spain0.08
16Italy0.08
World Avg0.36
q=159.
Year Women Can Vote28
Pos.Lower is better
Year28
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
71Argentina1947
72Korea, S.1948
73Israel1948
74Belgium1948
75Niger1948
76Suriname1948
77Seychelles1948
78Costa Rica1949
World Avg1930
q=189.

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Human Rights Watch's 2018 report states that Belgium's support of women's rights at home and internationally has been exemplary18.

Belgium is notable for its equality between the sexes.

See:

3. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#Belgium #equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)9
Pos.Higher is better
Score9
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
4Brazil81
5Spain79
6France78
7S. Africa78
8Uruguay77
9Norway72
10Denmark72
11Iceland72
12UK72
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence29. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws30. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries29. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

Belgium has set excellent examples of tolerance and respect in removing legal inequalities for LGBT folk. In 1998 registered-partnerships allowed some rights, but in 2003 full same-sex marriage was made legal31. Even though it was uncontroversial and had widespread support, the law was not passed until a time when the Christian Democratic Party, allied with the Catholic Church was not in power31, as the Catholic Church had campaigned consistently against legal tolerance. In 2006, the parliament also granted same-sex partners the right to adopt children31, again, against the doctrine of the (largely ignored) Catholic Church.

4. Belgium Overall National and Social Development

#Belgium #human_development

Social & Moral
Development Index
32
Pos.Higher is better
Points32
1Denmark84.2
2Sweden83.7
3Finland83.5
4Norway82.7
5Netherlands82.6
6Belgium82.2
7Switzerland82.0
8Germany81.7
9Ireland80.5
10UK80.5
11New Zealand80.4
12Iceland80.3
13Canada79.8
World Avg54.1
q=198.

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.

Current edition: 2018 Sep 19
http://www.humantruth.info/belgium_human_rights_and_freedom.html
Parent page: Belgium (Kingdom of Belgium)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#antisemitism #Belgium #burundi #corruption #equality #eritrea #france #freedom #gender #homosexuality #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #intolerance #mass_media #misogyny #peace #politics #sexuality #slavery #tolerance #women

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.

Casely-Hayford, Gus
(2012) The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Published by Bantram Press. A hardback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2018) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2018). Accessed 2018 Oct 03.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016.

Human Rights Watch
(2018) World Report 2018. Covering the events of 2017.

Klein, Naomi
(2004) No Logo. Originally published 2000, HarperCollins, London, UK. A paperback book.

McCall, Andrew
(1979) The Medieval Underworld. 2004 edition. Published by Sutton Publishing. A paperback book.

Pew Forum
(2017 Aug 08) Gay Marriage Around the World.

Thomson, Oliver
(1993) A History of Sin. Published by Canongate Press. A hardback book.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Available on hdr.undp.org/... UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/.

Walk Free Foundation
(2018) Global Slavery Index. Published on www.walkfreefoundation.org/.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2017). Table 1.^
  4. UN (2017). Gross National Income, per person. Table 1.^
  5. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  6. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  7. According to ISO4217.^
  8. According to ITU-T.^
  9. Sources:^^
  10. ^^
  11. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  12. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^^
  13. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  14. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^^
  15. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^^
  16. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  17. ADL (2014). Lower is better.^^
  18. Human Rights Watch (2018). P12.^^
  19. Thomson (1993). P28.^
  20. McCall (1979). P180.^
  21. Thomson (1993). P166.^
  22. Casely-Hayford (2012). P253.^
  23. Thomson (1993). P31.^
  24. Thomson (1993). P199.^
  25. Thomson (1993). P28-29.^
  26. Klein (2004) .^
  27. Walk Free Foundation (2018). P2.^
  28. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life: 2.6. Women Stand for Election & Vote" by Vexen Crabtree (2018)^
  29. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  30. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p289. According to a 1992 ruling of the Human Rights Committee, which declared that 'it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of privacy' when discussing Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. See Human Rights Committee, Communication 488/1992, paragraph 8.2.^
  31. Pew Forum (2017 Aug 08) .^
  32. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2018)^

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