Relatórios Apresentados por Portugal aos Órgãos
de Controlo da Aplicação dos Tratados das Nações
Unidas em Matéria de Direitos Humanos
Concluding observations of the Committee
on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
20 March 2001
1. The Committee considered the ninth periodic
report of Portugal (CERD/C/357/Add.1), at its 1447th and 1448th
meetings (CERD/C/SR/1447-1448), held on 12 and 13 March 2001. At
its 1461th meeting, held on 21 March 2001, it adopted the following
2. The Committee welcomes the updating report
of Portugal, submitted less than one year after the consideration
of the fifth to eighth periodic reports, as well as the supplementary
written and oral information provided by the delegation. The Committee
expresses its appreciation for the constructive and frank dialogue
it had with the state party.
3. The Committee welcomes the enactment of Decree-Law
4/2001 modifying the regulations on the entry, stay and departure
of foreigners with a view to inter alia, introducing penal legislation
against the illegal trafficking of migrant workers as well as an
enlarged definition of the beneficiaries of family reunification.
4. The Committee also welcomes the enactment
of Act Nº 134/99 and corresponding Decree-Law 111/2000 prohibiting
discrimination in the exercise of rights on grounds of race, colour,
nationality or ethnic origin, which contains a non-exhaustive list
of discriminatory practices and provides for administrative sanctions
for conduct falling under that list. It also welcomes the establishment
of the Commission for Equality and against Racial Discrimination.
5. The Committee welcomes the establishment
of the Consultative Council on questions of immigration and the
participation in it of representatives of immigrants associations.
6. The Committee notes with appreciation that,
contrary to previous legislation, Act Nº 20/98 of 12 May allows
employers to freely employ any worker residing legally in Portugal,
regardless of nationality.
7. The Committee welcomes the information provided
by the State party about the sentences handed down by the competent
courts in the case of the demolition of Gypsy dwellings in Vila
Concerns and recommendations
8. The Committee notes with concern that incidents
of racial discrimination and xenophobia do occur in the State party
and recommends that the authorities continue to monitor such incidents
closely and take appropriate steps to deal with them.
9. The Committee notes the lack of detailed
information in the periodic report about the number of complaints
of racial discrimination brought before the Portuguese courts as
well as the corresponding decisions, and recommends that the next
report include information in this respect. Such report should also
include information about the cases dealt with by the Commission
for Equality and against Racial Discrimination.
10. The Committee notes with concern that, in
some industrial and services sectors where illegal migrant workers
are engaged, they are discriminated against. It recommends that
the State party take measures to put an end to this discrimination.
11. The Committee notes that the report does
not contain detailed information about the effective enjoyment by
ethnic groups, including refugees, foreign workers, Gypsies (Roma)
and citizens who obtained Portuguese nationality following independence
of former colonies, of the rights contained in article 5 of the
Convention. The Committee calls the State party's attention to General
Recommendation XX and recommends that the next periodic report include
information in that respect, in particular about the socio-economic
situation of the above-mentioned groups.
12. The Committee recommends that the State
party take measures to inform the population in general, and the
most vulnerable groups in particular, about the possibility of bringing
complaints before the Commission for Equality and against Racial
13. The Committee recommends that, in its next
periodic report, the State party provide information on the demographic
composition of the population, in accordance with paragraph 8 of
the Committee's reporting guidelines.
14. The Committee recommends that the State
party's reports be made readily available to the public from the
time they are submitted and that the Committee's concluding observations
on them be similarly publicized. It also recommends the adoption
of measures in order to inform the public about the acceptance by
Portugal of article 14 of the Convention.
15. The Committee recommends that the State
party submit its tenth periodic report jointly with the eleventh
periodic report due on 23 September 2003, and that it address the
points raised in these concluding observations.