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This week Tunisia’s parliament adopted a law criminalising racist speech, incitement to hatred and discrimination, in a vote hailed as a historic first for the country.

The legislation was approved after a lengthy debate with 125 members of parliament voting for it, one against and five abstaining.

UNI Mena coordinator, Mongi Aberrrahim, said, “We as the trade union movement have spoken out against racism in Tunisia and called for more to be done. We are therefore delighted that this law has been passed. The unions will continue to spread the values of respect, comradeship and tolerance for a better future.”

Non-governmental organisations in Tunisia regularly report attacks on people singled out because of the colour of their skin.

In August, an Ivorian woman was beaten after responding to insults, which raised fears of more attacks on her community.

UNI Africa