Assita Kanko  

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Assita Kanko (born 14 July 1980) is a Belgian journalist, human rights activist and politician. A liberal and staunch anti-nationalist at the beginning of her career ( "Nationalisten zijn slecht voor Vlaanderen"[1], "Nationalists are bad for Flanders", she wrote in 2010), she would later join the nationalist party New Flemish Alliance.


Kanko was born in Godyr, Burkina Faso in 1980. She survived FGM as a child and has since campaigned for the practice to be banned. Kanko has also worked with the AHA Foundation founded by Ayaan Hirsi Ali to combat FGM, forced marriages and human rights abuses.

After the murder of the influential journalist Norbert Zongo, she studied journalism and became a human rights activist Kanko moved to the Netherlands in 2001 to study journalism and later settled in Brussels. She became a Belgian citizen in 2008.

Kanko was elected as a municipal counciller in Elsene for the French speaking Mouvement Réformateur in 2012. In 2018, she joined the Dutch speaking New Flemish Alliance party, stating that she supported the policies of the N-VA's migration spokesman Theo Francken.

Kanko was elected to the European Parliament on the N-VA's list in 2019 and currently sits as a Vice-Chairwoman on the European Conservatives and Reformists group.

Kanko has described herself as a women's rights activist and founded an organisation called Polin to encourage equal opportunities and more female involvement in politics. She has spoken of the importance of defending European Enlightenment values and argued for the stronger integration of immigrants into both European and Western society instead of pursuing multiculturalism.

In addition to her political work, Kanko has worked as a columnist for De Standaard.

See also

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