Indicator history

Close Window

Are there any problems concerning the implementation of national legislation prohibiting discrimination?

Key Area:
Anti-discrimination Legislation & Implementation
Discrimination, Equality
11/01/2012 - 12:04
Short Answer

Yes, there are problems that have been reported by the European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-discrimination Field in its 2009 - Country Report on Portugal and by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance in its 3rd report on Portugal dated from 2006.

Qualitative Info

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance

Recommends strengthening training on issues of racism and racial discrimination for actors in the justice system.

Recommends improving the procedure for receiving complaints of racial discrimination under the Law 18/2004. 

Recommends raising public awareness of the need to combat racism and intolerance and the benefits of a multicultural society.

Asks the Portuguese authorities to continue their efforts aimed at taking measures in favour of the legalisation and integration of immigrants.

Recommends additional measures to put an end to misconduct on the part of law enforcement officials towards minority groups.

Asks the Portuguese authorities to adopt a national strategy to combat the social exclusion of Gypsies, by improving their situation in such fields as housing, education and access to public services. 


European Network of Legal Experts in the Non-discrimination Field

From the legal point of view, the situation in Portugal with regard to equality bodies is too complex. The result is that there are several practical limitations in fulfilling responsibilities related to the implementation of the Race Directive. 

For example, the procedure for hearing and investigating cases is too complex. A complaint is filed either with the Commission for Equality or with the High Commissioner. After a preliminary examination the complaint is sent to the Inspectorate General deemed to be competent. Sometimes conflicts of competence arise between twoInspectorates General and have to be resolved by the Minister for the Presidency. The Inspectorates take too long to conduct investigations. The file returns to the Commission for Equality for the opinion of its Permanent Commission, and only then is a binding decision issued by the High Commissioner, imposing a fine if that is considered appropriate.


Adding to the above mentioned, awareness of ethnic minorities and immigrants about their legal rights and the complaints and assistance mechanisms at their disposal is extremely poor.

Groups affected/interested Migrants, Ethnic minorities
Type (R/D) Anti-migrant/xenophobia, Inter-ethnic
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Anti-discrimination
External Url
ECRI - Third report on Portugal
Portugal 2009 - Country report on measures to combat discrimination