Portugal: best practices in extending temporary protection to non-Ukrainians

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Portugal’s granting of temporary protection to people who have fled the war in Ukraine, including non-Ukrainians, is considered a “promising practice” in a report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published today.

Following directives from the European Commission encouraging member states to consider extending the “temporary protection mechanism” to non-Ukrainian third-country nationals, Portugal extends it “to all persons fleeing Ukraine who have resided there legally on a permanent or temporary basis and who are unable to return to their country of origin”.

“The Fundamental Rights Implications of the War in Ukraine in the EU”, which examines how the Union and its member states have dealt with the sudden influx of refugees due to the conflict, is the main chapter of the FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2023 for last year.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, “by the end of the year, around 17 million border crossings between Ukraine and EU member states, mainly by women and children, had been recorded,” the report states.

In total, almost four million people who had fled the war-torn country had been granted temporary protection in the Union by the end of the year. This is the first time the EU has activated this directive since its adoption in 2001.

In Portugal, over 59,000 temporary protections have been granted to people who have fled Ukraine since the invasion, including 14,190 minors, according to figures published in early April.

Still on the subject of providing information to “potential beneficiaries of temporary protection”, as required by the directive, Portugal appears alongside Austria, Slovenia, Greece and Romania in the list of Member States that have “stepped up their efforts to provide information and assistance” to refugees.

As for the main developments in the application of fundamental rights, analyzed in other chapters of the report, it points to “an interesting project in Portugal” for equality and non-discrimination.

This involves the launch of a handbook by the association Action for Identity aimed at journalists and other media professionals to help them “correctly use LGBTQ+ terminology (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other manifestations of gender)” and “understand discrimination and deconstruct internalized stereotypes and prejudices”.

The European agency also classifies as a “promising practice” the project by the Casa-Qui association, in partnership with the National Commission for the Promotion of the Rights and Protection of Children and Young People, “Knowing to Protect: Good Practices in the Support of LGBT Children and Young People”, an “online platform for sharing resources, support and advice in the field of education for children and young people”.

The chapter “Racism, xenophobia and related intolerance” lists three cases of police violence in Portugal, which “may have involved racial and xenophobic discrimination”.

The first is that of the seven GNR soldiers “accused of beating migrants from Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan”. One of the soldiers was sentenced in January to six years in prison, while the other six received suspended sentences.

The second concerns “three police officers who will be tried for racially-motivated assault against a woman in 2020”, the report further stating that “in August 2022, the Public Safety Police opened an investigation after a video was released showing two police officers assaulting a black man”.

In terms of good practice, mention is made of the signing in Portugal of a “cooperation protocol on the fight against racism and discrimination”, providing for the launch of pilot legal aid projects in collaboration with civil society organizations, so that people exposed to racial discrimination have a better knowledge of the laws that protect them, as well as the Public Security Police’s attempt to recruit members of “less represented groups” and anti-racism training for police officers.

As regards access to justice for women victims of gender-based violence, the proposal or approval in 2022 of new legislation is welcomed, as are amendments to existing laws, widening the scope of certain offenses or increasing penalties for various crimes. In the case of Portugal, this has been the case for sexual harassment and cyber-violence, including revenge pornography.

In the reference to member states that have made progress in implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it is noted that “Portugal has approved a strategy to promote accessibility and inclusion in museums, monuments and palaces, has adopted a regulation to increase the accessibility of festivals and has begun implementing a program to improve the accessibility of housing” on the continent.

FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2023 covers the 27 EU member states, as well as the Republics of Albania, Northern Macedonia and Serbia.

Half a hundred Ukrainians demonstrate in front of the Russian Embassy against hate ideology

Zelenskyy talks about Portugal’s involvement in the wars in Africa, Latin America, and Ukraine.

Temporary protections granted to Ukrainians by Portugal decreased.

Demonstrations against Lula never planned, says Ukrainian community in Portugal

SEF. Portugal received 60 thousand Ukrainians. 14 thousand are minors.

 

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