“Police Brutality” and “Global Exploitation”. Amnesty International is concerned about the treatment of migrants in Portugal

The non-governmental organization analyzed the human rights situation in 156 countries around the world and gathered several conclusions in a report released on Tuesday. Portugal stands out for its police force and labor exploitation of migrants

“Police brutality”, “violence against women”, “labor exploitation” of migrants and “forced evictions”, especially of Roma and people of African descent. This is Portugal’s portrait of last year, according to Amnesty International’s annual report on the state of global human rights.

In a document accessed by CNN Portugal, Amnesty International expresses concern about the “labor exploitation” of migrants – “mostly from countries in South Asia, working in the agricultural sector in the southern part of Odemira”. According to the NGO, in June last year, the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Human Trafficking (GRETA) visited the country and “found that labor exploitation continues to be very common” in Portugal, “mainly affecting the agriculture and catering sectors”.

“Excessive force and other misconduct” by police officers is one of Amnesty International’s biggest points of concern. Between May and June last year, the Council of Europe’s Committee on the Prevention of Torture (CPT) visited “a number of prisons and jails to assess the conditions and treatment of prisoners”. According to the organization, the 2019 report aims to “follow up on a detailed list of recommendations” of the CPT, namely “addressing the effectiveness of investigations into allegations of misconduct by officers of the armed forces”.

In the report, Amnesty International concludes that the Portuguese government “has not taken sufficient measures to improve housing conditions and guarantee an adequate number of affordable homes”. The organization laments the “permanence” of “reports of forced evictions” that “disproportionately affect Roma and people of African descent”.

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In July last year, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, its acronym in English) cited “inadequate legislative and institutional frameworks” and “lack of services to address violence against women”.

The group also “expressed concerns about dropout rates among Roma women following forced marriage and/or forced pregnancy” – which Amnesty International notes is “largely ignored by the authorities”.

Finally, Amnesty International argues that the Portuguese authorities should “increase the pace of action against air pollution and waste management”, as well as prevent the risk of forest fires. Citing data from the Directorate General of Health (DGS), the organization points out that in July last year, more than 1,000 deaths were caused by extreme heat waves.

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