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Relatórios Apresentados por Portugal aos Órgãos de Controlo da Aplicação dos Tratados das Nações Unidas em Matéria de Direitos Humanos

Summary record of the 10th meeting : Portugal. 11/05/95. E/C.12/1995/SR.10. (Summary Record)

COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS, Twelfth session

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 10th MEETING, >Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Friday, 5 May 1995, at 3 p.m.

Chairperson: Mr. GRISSA

CONTENTS

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS (continued)

(a) REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLES 16 AND 17 OF THE COVENANT
Portugal (continued) (E/1990/6/Add.6; E/C.12/1994/WP.27)

ORGANIZATION OF WORK (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.

1. At the invitation of the Chairperson, Mr. de Santa Clara Gomes, Mr. Ribeiro Lopes, Mr. Botelho, Mr. Menezes, Mr. Coelho, Mrs. Leitão, Mrs. Varzielas, Mrs. Bras Gomes, Mr. Madureira, Mr. Marrecas Ferreira and Mrs. Gonçalves Martins Faria (Portugal) resumed their places at the Committee table.

2. The CHAIRPERSON invited the delegation of Portugal to take up issues Nos. 29 to 32 of the list of issues (E/C.12/1994/WP.27), relating to article 10 of the Covenant.

3. Mrs. BRAS GOMES (Portugal), referring to issue No. 29 on measures designated to facilitate the founding of a family, said that she would focus on her Government's conceptual approach to welfare. The chief objective of the social security legislation was to assist the most vulnerable sectors of society, including children, and to further community integration. Social security benefits were still inadequate even though total expenditure on welfare had risen by 30 per cent in the previous five years. The hope was to expand and individualize coverage, especially family coverage. Private non-profit-making organizations, with the encouragement and technical and financial support of the State, also provided many needed welfare services. Most welfare benefits were allocated to individual mothers and children, although some were family-specific, such as the provision of day care and after-school programmes for infants and children of working parents or home-care services.

4. Welfare benefits were being channelled increasingly to immigrants and ethnic groups, and the Government worked with their representative associations on appropriate welfare policies. Their access to welfare services was promoted by the joint Portuguese/European Union project to combat social exclusion and the new 1993 Asylum Act, under which benefits administered by local social security centres, including food and housing in temporary accommodation, were provided for asylum seekers and their families. Refugees received comparable benefits.

5. Mr. RIBEIRO LOPES (Portugal), referring to issue No. 30 on child labour, said that although the minimum age was currently 15 (E/1990/6/Add.6, para. 592) it would be raised to 16 on 1 January 1997, in conjunction with the raising of the minimum compulsory period of schooling to nine years. In addition, specific laws and collective agreements demanded higher minimum ages when difficult or dangerous work was involved. Children between the ages of 14 and 16 who had completed their compulsory education were allowed to do light work as defined in Order No. 714/93. In connection with issue No. 31, Order No. 715/93 defined the kind of work minors were prohibited from performing and set various conditions for their employment, such as regular medical examinations. Overtime was forbidden, and there were serious restrictions on night work between the hours of 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. for children. For the various economic, social, educational and cultural reasons set out in the report (paras. 563-568), the complexity of the child-labour problem required a correspondingly multi-faceted approach, and time was also needed to eliminate it.

6. With regard to issue No. 32 concerning sanctions for violation of the child labour laws, Portuguese legislation provided for fines on employers who hired children illegally, and the list of those who did so was published each year. In addition, those employers were forbidden to conclude public service contracts or apply for community funds for one year.

7. A number of Catholic bishops, especially in the north of the country where child labour was more widespread, had joined in the Government's broad "Time to Grow" campaign (report, para. 585) and schools were obliged to inform the Government of any dropouts during the years of compulsory schooling. It was difficult to determine the full extent of child labour, since it was primarily a hidden problem. However, in the two years since the report (paras. 572 et seq.) had been written, the Inspectorate General of Labour (IGT) had made two and one half times more inspection visits in 1994 than in 1992 while uncovering only 43 per cent of the number of child labour cases verified in 1992. It was not known if that encouraging trend would continue, but for the moment there had been a definite improvement, probably as a result of collaboration between the schools and the IGT, and because of the Government's publicizing of the problem.

8. Because it considered child labour such a serious issue, Portugal had just ratified the ILO Minimum Age Convention (No. 138) well ahead of schedule (report, para. 593).

9. Mr. de SANTA CLARA GOMES (Portugal) said that he wished to underscore the importance of his country's ratification of that ILO Convention for the protection of children.

10. Mrs. JIMENEZ BUTRAGUEÑO asked whether immigrants had to return to their country of origin for a certain period before being able to renew work permits in Portugal.

11. Mr. de SANTA CLARA GOMES (Portugal) said that there was no such requirement.

12. Mrs. AHODIKPE asked, since Portugal was a Catholic country, whether abortion and divorce were legal. She also wondered whether the marriage regime under ordinary law was more favourable to men than women, whether there was a separation of property, and who was the head of the household.

13. Mrs. LEITÃO (Portugal) said that voluntary termination of pregnancy was permitted in the special cases of rape or of mortal threat to the life of the mother.

14. Mr. MADUREIRA (Portugal) said, with regard to the marriage regime, that women did not have to adopt their husband's family name, although either spouse could do so. There was no concept of a head of household in Portugal, nor was parental authority attributed to either spouse specifically. The marriage laws were absolutely egalitarian. There were three matrimonial regimes with regard to property: one specifying equal sharing of property acquired after marriage, a second specifying the sharing of all property in common, and a third specifying separation of property. Divorce - which would be either divorce by mutual consent or a litigious divorce - was legal in Portugal.

15. The CHAIRPERSON invited the delegation to take up issues Nos. 33 and 34 of the list of issues, relating to article 11 of the Covenant.

16. Mr. BOTELHO (Portugal), referring to issue No. 33 concerning the homeless and the question of evictions, said that in 1994 the Government had inaugurated a six-year programme administered both nationally or locally whose aim was to rehouse 250,000 homeless persons or slum dwellers, involving 80,000 families. It was estimated that 10 per cent of the population was inadequately housed, i.e. lacking access to electricity, water and sanitation in the home. Municipal authorities were responsible for ensuring the provision of those essential services, but the Government contributed up to 65 per cent of the cost of housing renewal.

17. With regard to the eviction of tenants, a new law that reasonably balanced landlord/tenant rights had been adopted: Act No. 321/90 regulating urban rents. The law stipulated that leases must be signed in writing, for certain fixed periods, after which they were automatically renewable every six months until either party terminated them. Leases could be terminated by agreement between the parties unilaterally under unavoidable circumstances or upon expiry of the lease. Landlords, however, could terminate a lease only after filing a civil suit for the purpose. Rents had to be fixed in escudos and three categories of lease were established. In case of conflict between landlord and tenant, tenants could put the rent into escrow. Tenants also had a preferential option for the purchase of their rented housing.

18. The municipal authorities were working to resolve the problem of evictions for lack of payment of rent by making arrangements so that the tenants involved could pay according to their income.

19. Mrs. LEITÃO (Portugal), turning to issue No. 34 on the nutritional situation of the population, said that it was difficult to know exactly how many were malnourished, but local health studies showed that a number of the elderly and that children in poorer families especially in rural or peripheral urban areas, were not properly fed. A national nutrition survey was scheduled for the end of 1995, and should provide much information. Nutrition had improved in recent years, and the Portuguese were eating more protein and meat. Continuing problems were the overconsumption of salt, sugar and animal fat, an unbalanced diet that led to widespread cardiovascular disease among the population.

20. Mr. TEXIER asked whether squatters were a problem in Portugal as in some other European countries. With regard to evictions, he would like to know whether they were possible only after a judicial procedure in case of both evictions for non-payment of rent and evictions for a public purpose; and what kind of alternative housing was provided for such tenants.

21. Mr. BOTELHO (Portugal) said that the illegal occupation of a housing site was not very frequent in Portugal. When it did occur, affordable housing was found for the squatters; in the case of the homeless, they were covered by the legal provisions described earlier.

22. Where tenants were evicted because their homes had been expropriated for the construction of large public works, they could accept either compensation or alternative housing. Evictions under Act No. 321/90 were permissible for non-payment of rent and if the landlord either needed the premises for his own use or planned to expand them by construction. Such evictions always required a prior judicial decision.

23. The CHAIRPERSON asked what help was available to families which were unable to pay their rent.

24. Mrs. VARZIELAS (Portugal) replied that such people were eligible for allowances under the social security system. The amounts varied according to the family's income level. Pensioners and people over the age of 65 could not be evicted.

25. The CHAIRPERSON invited the delegation to respond to issues Nos. 35 to 37 of the list of issues (E/C.12/1994/WP.27).

26. Mrs. LEITÃO (Portugal) speaking on issue No. 35, said that the country was divided into five areas for health purposes. The services provided included preventive medicine, primary, secondary and tertiary health care and rehabilitation.

27. Each town had its own health centre, the size of which depended on the size of the population. The health team consisted of general practitioners, public health doctors, nurses, administrative staff and staff working in environmental matters. People could register with a general practitioner of their choice from those working at the health centre in their area, and general practitioners were each responsible for some 1,500 patients. General or emergency consultations were free of charge as were consultations in cases of diabetes, HIV, Parkinson's disease and chronic mental illness. Pensioners whose income was below the national minimum wage received free treatment, which was also extended to other members of their family. People with 50 per cent disability or more had the right to free treatment.

28. There were four levels of payment for drugs and medicines depending on the patient's circumstances: 100 per cent, 70 per cent, 40 per cent or no payment. Medicines and drugs required for HIV, oncology, epilepsy, haemophilia, Huntington's disease and dialysis were free of charge. Pensioners whose income fell below the national minimum wage were only required to pay 15 per cent of all medication.

29. Turning to issue No. 36, she said that, as in all European countries, the situation with regard to HIV was worsening year by year. Portugal now had 2,200 registered cases of AIDS the majority of whom were men, particularly in the 25 to 35 age group. Most of the affected groups were drug addicts and heterosexuals, while the number of homosexuals was thought to be decreasing.

30. With regard to childhood diseases and maternal and child health care, as a result of radical action throughout Portugal, statistics were now at an acceptable level. Infants were monitored six times during their first year, three times during their second year and once per year thereafter, up to the age of 17.

31. Congenital abnormalities, malignant tumours and accidents were the most frequent health problems in children. The standard vaccination programme covered BCG, DTP, poliomyelitis and measles, mumps and scarlet fever. All children in the 11 to 13 age group were also vaccinated against hepatitis B.

32. Cardiovascular diseases continued to be a serious problem in Portugal and, together with cerebral vascular diseases and accidents, were the main causes of death. At the primary health care level, doctors monitored all patients with high blood pressure and numbers were submitted to a national information centre from which the Government hoped to obtain some feedback, although it recognized that that was a long-term undertaking.

33. Accidents, particularly road traffic accidents, were also a serious problem in Portugal and had to be reported, together with accidents in the home and at work, and recreational accidents. Portugal's mortality rates resulting from accidents were probably the highest in Europe, but efforts were being made to reduce them.

34. With regard to issue No. 37, the health budget in 1988 had accounted for 9.8 per cent of the national budget, whereas the military budget had accounted for 6.6 per cent; in 1992 it had accounted for 10.54 per cent of the national budget compared with 5.14 per cent for the military budget.

35. Mr. de SANTA CLARA GOMES (Portugal) added that in 1994, the health budget had been 15.5 per cent of the national budget, with 5.7 per cent for the military budget, and in 1995 it had accounted for 16.9 per cent compared with 5.5 per cent for the military budget.

36. The CHAIRPERSON expressed surprise that the number of women affected by HIV/AIDS was small compared with the number of men, and he wondered what the reasons might be, if transmission was now largely through heterosexuals.

37. Mr. RATTRAY asked whether the quality of the health care available under the national health service was equivalent to that in the private system and whether there was any evidence of certain categories of persons using one service rather than another.

38. Mrs. JIMENEZ BUTRAGUEÑO asked what importance was given to preventive medicine and what campaigns were run at the national level. She also wondered whether natural and homeopathic medicines were covered by social security and whether any birth control measures were available to young people. In view of the health service cuts in other countries, she wondered whether cuts had been made in Portugal and, if so, in which areas.

39. Mr. TEXIER asked whether HIV/AIDS patients were discriminated against with regard to hospital or home treatment or in any aspects of their daily lives, such as job applications or schools. Were they rejected by society in any way and, if so, what was the State doing to combat it?

40. Mrs. LEITÃO (Portugal), replying to Mr. Rattray, said that the main difference between private and State health care was that hospital accommodation was better in the private system. The equipment, however, tended to be the same and was often better in State hospitals. People could choose between private and national health care on an individual basis, and some companies provided their employees with health insurance which gave them access to private health care.

41. Considerable emphasis had been placed on preventive medicine in Portugal for a number of years and education for health was highly developed. Anti-smoking campaigns were run regularly and education on food and diet was also provided. All health professionals were appropriately trained in those areas.

42. Homeopathic medicine was not recommended by Portugal's medical associations. For young people, there were campaigns on HIV/AIDS and sex education through schools and in the media.

43. Cuts had been made in the health services, notably in the list of medicines and drugs available. If necessary, details could be submitted at a later stage.

44. Unfortunately, as in many other countries, there had been discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients, particularly in schools where parents had not wished their children to attend the same schools as children suffering from HIV or haemophilia, and demonstrations had occurred as a result. However, after a debate involving the teaching profession, health professionals and the public at large, the problem had been resolved. Campaigns were run to combat discrimination. There had been no problems in hospitals in recent years.

45. In reply to Mr. Grissa's comment, she said that apart from the very acute problem of transmission among drug addicts, there was no satisfactory explanation so far for the lower number of women affected.

46. Mr. de SANTA CLARA GOMES (Portugal), adding to the reply on private versus national health care, said that in his experience people with sufficient means or who were covered under health insurance schemes opted for private medical care because it was more comfortable. The quality of medical care was the same in both systems.

47. The CHAIRPERSON invited the Portuguese delegation to respond to issues Nos. 38 and 39 in the list of issues (E/C.12/1994/WP.27).

48. Mrs. GONÇALVES MARTINS FARIA (Portugal), replying to issue No. 38, said that the 1986 Education Act covered adult and out-of-school education, making education accessible to those who had not benefited at an earlier age. Courses were available at all levels, including scientific and technical subjects, in both the public and private sectors. The programme was basically designed to eliminate functional illiteracy but provided courses leading to professional qualifications as well.

49. With regard to issue No. 39, drawing attention to the statistics given in table 9 of annex 3 of Portugal's written replies, she emphasized that while they indicated a very high proportion of young people in work, they also included adults in the 20 to 24 age group pursuing secondary education.

50. To ensure that the nine years of compulsory education were completed, a number of measures were taken including the provision of school meals, transport, school books and materials and even accommodation.

51. With regard to issue No. 40, under the legislation currently in force, all subjects taught in basic and secondary education had to contribute systematically to the personal and social training of pupils at various stages of their development and instil in them spiritual, aesthetic, moral and civic values. Human rights education formed part of personal and social development.

52. The CHAIRPERSON observed that although primary education in particular had been compulsory since 1911, the school attendance rate fell very sharply for secondary education, and was lower than in many other countries which could be said to be at a similar level of development. He therefore wondered whether it was the cost of education or the need to work or some other reason which prevented children from participating in higher education.

53. Mr. WIMER ZAMBRANO said that in most countries there were two kinds of higher education, both leading to diplomas but only one leading to openings in public administration. He wondered whether the same system operated in Portugal.

54. Mrs. JIMENEZ BUTRAGUEÑO asked whether the elderly were offered facilities to pursue university studies. She also asked, with reference to issue No. 40, what place the teaching of human rights had in the school curriculum and whether it was compulsory.

55. Mrs. GONÇALVES MARTINS FARIA (Portugal) said two types of higher education were offered in Portugal, namely, university and polytechnic studies. People who had dropped out of school could receive tuition and take extramural courses. She confirmed that the universities offered courses for the elderly.

56. She confirmed that the percentage of students in higher education was lower than in other countries comparable to Portugal, but said the statistics had shown an increasing trend towards greater access to higher education. She said the process was slow and Portugal was still less developed at that level of education than other countries.

57. In response to the question put by Mrs. Jimenez Butragueño on the teaching of human rights, she said several schools in Portugal had joined the UNESCO Associated Schools programme and, in so doing, had undertaken the obligation to promote the teaching of human rights and international understanding. There was a vast network of schools participating in the programme and, consequently, teaching in human rights was offered at all levels.

58. Mr. de SANTA CLARA GOMES (Portugal), in response to Mr. Wimer Zambrano's question on the two levels of higher education, said a university degree did not give automatic access to administrative posts. There was almost always a competitive examination for candidates.

59. The CHAIRPERSON invited the delegation to take up issue No. 41 on article 15, relating to the right to take part in cultural life.

60. Mrs. GONÇALVES MARTINS FARIA (Portugal), describing the efforts made by the Government of Portugal to promote the participation of ethnic groups, minorities, indigenous populations, the elderly and handicapped persons in cultural life, referred to the basic law on the education system which stated that the education system was organized in such a way as to ensure the right to difference, to respect individuality and at the same time to enhance differences in knowledge and cultures. To that end, continuing education programmes and teacher training centres had been set up. A secretariat had also been established to coordinate and promote programmes and activities aimed at teaching the value of coexistence, tolerance, dialogue and solidarity between different peoples, ethnic groups and cultures.

61. Paragraphs 823 to 828 of the report (E/1990/6/Add.6) gave details on efforts to integrate disabled children into the normal education system and society. A special education scheme, under Decree-law No. 319-91, guaranteed the implementation of a number of wide-ranging measures, including the provision of special equipment and materials and special conditions on registration, attendance and evaluation.

62. Mrs. JIMENEZ BUTRAGUEÑO asked whether there were opportunities for elderly persons to impart their experience to younger people and whether special benefits were provided for the elderly to attend cultural events at reduced prices or receive special reductions for fares on public transportation.

63. Mr. WIMER ZAMBRANO asked which ethnic minorities existed in Portugal.

64. Mr. de SANTA CLARA GOMES (Portugal) said Portugal was a small and very ancient country whose borders had stood unaltered since the thirteenth century. There was great ethnic homogeneity throughout the country in spite of the contact it had had with other countries and civilizations throughout the centuries. Portugal had never hesitated to accede to conventions which protected ethnic minorities. There were different nationalities coexisting in Portugal because of immigration but, on the whole, Portuguese society was cohesive and characterized by a strong sense of community. Nevertheless, he admitted there were advantages in ethnic diversity.

65. Mrs. BRAS GOMES (Portugal) said her Government had made major efforts to encourage the participation of the elderly in cultural activities. In 1993, which was designated International Year for the Elderly, invitations were extended to various associations of the elderly. Various campaigns and a competition, under the slogan "Participation is living", were launched to increase public awareness. Her Government could report positive results in its efforts to stimulate the active participation of the elderly.

66. The CHAIRPERSON asked whether the homogeneity in the population of Portugal also applied to the Azores and Madeira.

67. Mr. de SANTA CLARA GOMES (Portugal) said the Azores and Madeira had a different political and administrative system from that of Portugal, but they had the same ethnic, cultural and linguistic components as the mainland.

68. Mr. MADUREIRA (Portugal), in responding to questions raised the previous day, provided updated statistics on the number of aliens residing in Portugal. In December 1994, there were 153,023 aliens residing in Portugal. It was difficult to estimate the numbers of persons living in the country unlawfully because they were undocumented. His Government had, however, conducted a successful legalization campaign in 1993 which had resulted in the regularization of the status of 40,000 previously illegal aliens. The law later instituted a special regularization process, on humanitarian grounds, for family reunion. Up to January 1995, 2,000 persons had been regularized under that special provision.

69. Mrs. VARZIELAS (Portugal) said article 10 of the Social Security Act stipulated that the general scheme covered all wage earners or self-employed persons, regardless of nationality. Furthermore, aliens living in Portugal for over six months and nationals of the European Union could participate in the non-contributory social security scheme. Membership by non-European nationals in that scheme was based on reciprocity, under bilateral or multilateral agreements.

70. Mr. MARRECAS FERREIRA (Portugal) said Portuguese legislation provided solutions in cases of discrimination because it was based on the direct applicability of both the Covenant and the Constitution. Cases of discrimination in the sphere of social security could be brought before the courts, which were competent to hand down decisions on such matters.

71. Mr. de SANTA CLARA GOMES (Portugal) said there were still a few areas where imbalances existed, but the non-contributory scheme was a major step forward because it covered most cases and had even been extended to include non-nationals. In the rare cases that arose, the people concerned could go before the courts, but it should be recalled that they might not have the resources needed to institute legal proceedings. His Government was engaged in an ongoing task of adjusting its system to principles such as those laid down in the Covenant. This was why his delegation was pleased to participate in the activities of the Committee and to present its report. He welcomed the opportunity to explain his Government's ambitions and looked forward to hearing the Committee's recommendations and comments so his Government could continue to work on those areas which needed improvement.

72. Mr. MADUREIRA (Portugal) said there was no clear response to the question raised by Mr. Rattray on the applicability of laws governing economic, social and cultural rights since that issue was still evolving. The direct applicability of fundamental rights and all analogous rights, including economic, social and cultural rights, were guaranteed by the Portuguese Constitution. The problem discussed in legal doctrine was the clarity and precision of constitutional norms and, in the final analysis, it was up to the judge to decide whether or not the norms were clear and precise. He then cited two examples in which the Constitutional Court had examined cases involving a conflict between the right to own property and the right to housing.

73. The Portuguese Constitution also provided for "unconstitutionality by omission". If it was established that a right could not be brought before the courts, the President and Ombudsman could request the Constitutional Court to declare unconstitutionality.

74. Mrs. VARZIELAS (Portugal), referring to a question by Mrs. Ahodikpe on the victims of violations, said that she would reply to the question as it affected the social security system. The social security legislation laid down the principle whereby, in the event of conflict between the right to cash benefits under the social security regime and the right to compensation to be borne by a third party, the victim's rights were transferred by subrogation to the social security bodies.

75. Mr. MARRECAS FERREIRA (Portugal), replying to questions concerning the elderly, said that articles 59, 63, 64 (2)(b) and 72 of the Portuguese Constitution contained provisions providing a broad range of protection of the rights of the elderly. Those included the right to work, health and housing and the right not to be the subject of discrimination. Article 72 in particular reflected the State's policy of combating isolation and ensuring a fulfilling life for the elderly.

76. Mrs. JIMENEZ BUTRAGUEÑO said that she would like to congratulate Portugal on including references to the elderly in its Constitution.

77. Mr. MENEZES (Portugal) said that Portugal took seriously its obligation under the Maastricht Treaty to improve the quality of life of its people. To create a local dimension of the single market, the Government's efforts in the economic sphere were aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, which represented 70 per cent of businesses in European Union countries.

78. Mr. de SANTA CLARA GOMES (Portugal) said that despite the best efforts of his delegation, it had not been possible to provide a comprehensive picture of the situation in Portugal. There was frequently a gap between legal texts and the actual situation, since both ordinary citizens and administrators often failed to comply with the laws as they should. There had been improvements, but much remained to be done. Fortunately, however, he could say that the Portuguese society was a compassionate one, and solutions to problems were often found outside the framework of the law. One such example was the integration of the million people who had emigrated to Portugal in 1975 after decolonization, placing a heavy burden on society; in an exemplary display of

solidarity, the Portuguese people had integrated the new immigrants in a very short time, and they were now indistinguishable from the rest of the population.

79. The report had not mentioned Portugal's high level of participation in international cooperation efforts. A recent example had occurred at the World Health Assembly, where the Portuguese Minister of Health had held several meetings with representatives of Portugal's former colonies in Africa and South America on health matters. He would also like to point out that Portugal had been the foremost sponsor and negotiator of the Commission on Human Rights resolution on economic, social and cultural rights submitted yearly to the Commission since 1988.

80. Mr. ADEKUOYE said that he wondered whether sufficient publicity was given in Portugal to the work of the Committee in order to encourage Portuguese non-governmental organizations to submit complaints. However, he would like to congratulate the delegation on its first-rate presentation.

81. Mr. ALVAREZ VITA thanked the Portuguese delegation for the high quality of its report and replies to the Committee's questions. He continued to believe that there was a contradiction between Portugal's obligations regarding treatment of aliens under the Convention and under the Maastricht Treaty. It was natural for the countries of the European Union to work to obtain a higher level of enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights for their own citizens. Yet, the difference involved appeared to be so small that it would be worthwhile to make every effort to level out the situation. Perhaps Portugal might take up that matter with the other countries of the European Union in order to find a solution to that minor problem.

82. The CHAIRPERSON thanked the members of the delegation for their cooperation and said that in the next phase of its work, the Committee would meet in private to draft its concluding observations, which would be made public on the final day of the session.

83. Mr. de Santa Clara Gomes, Mr. Ribero Lopes, Mr. Botelho, Mr. Menezes, Mr. Coelho, Mrs. Leitão, Mrs. Varzielas, Mrs. Bras Gomes, Mr. Madureira, Mr. Marrecas Ferreira and Mrs. Gonçalves Martins Faria (Portugal) withdrew.


ORGANIZATION OF WORK (agenda item 4) (continued)

84. The CHAIRPERSON said that a letter had been received from the delegation of the Republic of Korea containing the additional replies requested by the Committee during its discussion of that country's report. Those replies would be made available to the members of the Committee.

The meeting rose at 5.40 p.m.

 

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