por Portugal aos Órgãos de Controlo da Aplicação
dos Tratados das Nações Unidas em Matéria de
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 meeting rose at 5.40 p.m.