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Quelques repères de l’évolution sociale

1830 : Belgian independence
1870 : Law on the temporalities of (recognised) denominations
1889 : Law on the employment of women and children
1899 : Law on the health and safety of workers
1905 : Law on the Sunday day of rest
1914 : Extension of compulsory education from 6 to 14 years
1919 : Voting rights for men
1921 : Law on Freedom of Association - law on the 8 hour day and the 48 hour working week
1924 : Retirement insurance becomes mandatory for workers
1925 : Law on old age pensions for employees
1927 : Law on compensation for work-related illnesses
1935 : Introduction of compulsory schooling up to the age of 16
1936 : Introduction of the 40 hour working week and holiday pay in heavy and hazardous industries
1944 : Establishment of the social security system
1948 : Voting rights for women
1951 : Paid annual holidays
1955 : Introduction of the five-day week
1958 : Repeal of the legal incapacity of married women
1959 : Education becomes free up to age 18 - School Pact Law on philosophical guarantees
1964 : Law recognising the status of conscientious objectors to military service
1965 : Introduction of a guaranteed monthly income and 3 weeks of paid leave for employees
1969 : Dismissal of pregnant women banned
1970 : Revision of the Constitution (regionalisation)
1974 : Law granting the minimum means of subsistence ("Minimex") – law on salaries for clergy - law recognising the Islamic faith
1975 : Women become entitled to 100% of their salary during their maternity leave - 4 weeks’ paid holiday for employees - conscientious objection to military service is no longer restricted to religious or philosophical motives
1978 : Equal treatment of men and women
1980 : Law of institutional reforms (regionalisation)
1985 : Law recognising the Orthodox faith
1987 : Repeal of distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate filiation
1988 : Revision of the constitution - Guarantee of religious education in state schools
1990 : Law decriminalising abortion
1993 : Recognition of non-denominational, philosophical organisations given status in the constitution
1994 : Repeal of military service - decree of the French Community on the neutrality of education
1996 : Abolition of the death penalty - Parliamentary Commission on illegal practices of sects
1998 : Law to establish a federal centre for information and advice on harmful sectarian organisations
2002 : Law organising the temporalities of recognised secularity - law decriminalising euthanasia
2003 : Law authorising same-sex marriage - law on the battle against discrimination
2004 : Law providing for an interim status for lay parish assistants of the Catholic faith - new code of private international law and the status of repudiation
Reform of the regime of management of secular affairs concerning religions in Flanders (Flemish Decree of 7 May 2004)
2005 : Constitutional guarantee of the abolition of the death penalty
2006 : Law authorising adoption by gay couples
2007 : New law in the battle against discrimination - relaxation of divorce conditions (6 months / 1 year of separation, irretrievable breakdown)
2011 : Law of 1st June 2011, "aimed à at prohibiting the wearing of any garment that covers the face completely or hides its main features" - Law of 26 November 2011 "aimed à at suppressing the abuse of a person’s situation of weakness" and determining as aggravating circumstances "physical or psychological subjection due to the exercise of serious and repeated pressures, or techniques susceptible to alter one’s capacity of discernment" (new Art. 442 quater of the Belgian Penal Code)
2014 : Reform of the protective administration over the management of secular affairs concerning religions in Wallonia (Walloon Decree of 13 March 2014, constitutionally validated by the judgment of 1 October 2015)
2015 : Reform of the regime of recognized religions courses regime and of non denominational ethics at public schools in Wallonia-Brussels, and partial substitution of a course of "philosophy and citizenship" (Two decrees of the French Community voted 14 July 2015, exemption of religious/ethics courses and 21 October 2015, establishment of mandatory citizenship classes).
2016 : French-language decree on the creation of an Institute to promote training about Islam (public law institute responsible for prospecting and funding, but not for the direct organisation of training)
2017 : Flemish Decree of 7 July 2017 (effective 1 January 2019) and Walloon Decree of 18 May 2017 (effective 1 September 2019) prohibiting slaughter without prior stunning and eliminating the exception in favour of ritual slaughter. The decrees provide that in the event of slaughter for religious purposes, the public authorities guarantee that stunning will be of the “reversible” type.
2018 : The Law of 15 October 2018 on voluntary termination of pregnancy, repealing Articles 350 and 351 of the French Criminal Code and amending Articles 352 and 383 of the same Code and amending various legislative provisions (law repealing the criminal Code of standards relating to abortion and its conditions of legalisation and transferring a more flexible regulation regime in a special health law not included in the Criminal Code.
2018 : Law of 19 December 2018 amending various provisions relating to the regulations concerning the lifeless child (making it possible to assign a civil status to children born lifeless from 140 days from the date of conception. The stillborn child record does not produce legal effects unless expressly provided for by law.
2019 : The National Council of the Order of Physicians issued an opinion on 16 February 2019 in which it deemed that there is no justification for granting a request to draw up a certificate of virginity.

D 27 février 2019    ALouis-Léon Christians APatrick de Pooter

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