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A note of solidarity and a call for respect and dialogue

November 16th 2015

Equinet supports the capacity and the potential of equality bodies to contribute to positive change for individuals, organisations and institutions, and society as a whole. Following the dreadful events in Paris on Friday 13 November, our European Network expresses solidarity with our colleagues at the French Defender of Rights, headed by Jacques Toubon.

In this context, we share the sentiments as expressed by one of our member equality body in Belgium, with the following message:

“The Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities wishes to express its solidarity with the French people. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families in particular. Every one of us has been affected on an individual and collective level.

The nature, amplitude and violence, but also the proximity of the Paris attacks, touch us in particular, but we do not forget the men, women and children who die every day in other attacks, in violent conflict or on the road trying to escape them.

The attacks on 13 November are a direct attack against our freedom, our democracy, and the rule of law. And it is in their name that we must react with vigor but also with coherence. This means that we must refuse to make generalisations and stigmatise groups or communities that could be too easily blamed as a whole for such acts. We must fight hate, violence and discrimination together, through dialogue and respect.

See the Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities statement in French and Dutch.