Processing of personal data regarding ethnic origin and disability for statistical purposes to combat discrimination.

Project Details


This proposal focuses on the use of sensitive data for the implementation of anti-discrimination policies. It takes Belgium as its focus and seeks to develop an understanding - a model or system - for the reconciliation of privacy rights and other concerned with the promotion of equality. It takes as its basis the growing consensus at both the international and European level on the importance of detailed statistics on the composition of a given population in orde to render existing anti-discrimination and diversity policies fully operational.
Discrimination at any level cannot be identified without reliable and detailed data on the composition of the population in terms of equality groups. Such data should be available to society as a whole (macro level) and within the personnel files of the government and companies (micro level).
Privacy legislation has been identified as the main sumbling stone for the collection of (gender) statistics. Because data protection laws contain a very rigid regime for the registration and processing of sensitive data on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and health, there is a growing need to look at this set of rules to determine the possibilities for monitoring minority equality groups. There is a need to analyze how data protection laws are set up, whether statistical monitoring of minority groups and groups that are vulnerable to discrimination, is compatible with the underlying principles and whether it is possible to shape a legal framework to ensure that privacy and discrimination optimally unite. This research wants to address these questions. Particular attention goes to the question what kind of data (personal, encoded or anonymous) needs to be processed and how this is best organized (primary or secondary processing). The expected outcome of the project consists of clear guidelines on this subject that lay down the conditions on how the ultimate goal of combating discrimination can be achieved by processing data that are as such discriminatory.
Effective start/end date1/01/1131/12/14


  • Interdisciplinary Study of the Law
  • human rights
  • Meta-Law

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Law and legal studies


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