U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Portugal
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||5 June 2002|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Portugal, 5 June 2002, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7a7c.html [accessed 29 August 2015]|
Portugal (Tier 1)
Portugal is a country of destination for people, predominantly men, from Eastern Europe, especially Moldova, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus but also from Brazil and Lusophone Africa, who come to work in the construction industry and are put into exploitative labor conditions. Some women from Eastern Europe are also trafficked into sexual exploitation.
The Government of Portugal fully complies with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking with respect to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. Portugal has criminal and immigration laws specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons. The government actively investigates trafficking cases, as exhibited by increased investigations and arrests of alleged traffickers. The government has broken up large trafficking rings. The courts have handed down convictions of traffickers. The government cooperates with other European Union countries to investigate and prosecute traffickers. To protect victims, Portugal has a recent immigration law that provides a mechanism for illegal aliens to obtain lawful immigration status based on having employment. The Portuguese Labor Ministry released a "Welcome Guide," designed to teach new immigrants the basics of living and working in Portugal, which is in the process of being translated into several languages. The government provides some funding to NGOs to act as social assistance associations and offers protection to victims and witnesses. To prevent trafficking, the government pursues a policy focused on integrating immigrants and minorities into the mainstream of Portuguese society. With the recent law allowing immigrants to legalize their immigration status, immigrants also become eligible for health and welfare benefits. The law allows for individuals to receive an annually renewable authorization of stay. After five years, the immigrant may apply for an extension of residency or must leave the country. The government supports print and internet informational programs in Portuguese, English and Russian. The Commission for Equality and Women's Rights has a working group that informs trafficking victims of their legal rights. Portugal coordinates with other European Union countries on migration and asylum matters.