Portugal Portugal


Maeso, S. R.; Alves, A. R.; Fernandes, S.; Oliveira, I. (2020), Direito, Estado e Sociedade: uma análise da legislação de combate ao racismo em Portugal (Law, State and Society: an analysis of legislation to combat racism in Portugal), Coimbra, COMBAT/CES.

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Type of publication


Geographical coverage


Area/location of interest

Not applicable - national level

Type of Institution



Portugal, Projeto COMBAT - O combate ao racismo em Portugal: uma análise de políticas públicas e legislação antidiscriminação (Project COMBAT - The fight against racism in Portugal: an analysis of public policies and anti-discrimination legislation), Centro de Estudos Sociais da Universidade de Coimbra (Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra).

Main Thematic Focus

Racism & xenophobia

Target Population

General population

Key findings

This publication presents the main results of the project COMBAT on the role of the legislation in combating racial discrimination. It analyses the administrative offence cases initiated by the Commission for Equality and Against Racial Discrimination between 2006 and 2016, and finalised until 20 February 2020, in three specific areas: education, housing/neighbourhood and security forces. A total of 106 cases were examined. The main results of the project point, namely, to negligent institutional practices, systematic failures in the access to justice, poor development of legal doctrine and jurisprudence on racial discrimination in Portugal, an overlap between the administrative and criminal scopes and the denial of an everyday experience of racism. In general, the key actors considered that the anti-discrimination legislation in Portugal was effective. However, some issues were raised, namely the need for a legislative change in the administrative or criminal scopes, the existence of a naturalization of racism in society, public institutions and services and the need to produce knowledge on institutional racism.

Methodology (Qualitative/Quantitative and exact type used, questionnaires etc)

The specific analysis of the cases was carried out using a grid that made it possible to map them in three areas: (i) the dates of the case, public bodies and associations involved; (ii) the interpretation of the legislation in conjunction with the jurisprudence on racial discrimination, within the scope of the cases carried out by the competent Inspectorates, in the investigations of the Public Ministry and in the final deliberation of the CICDR; (iii) the standards that the complaints reveal both in the institutionalisation of racism and in the forms of recognition or denial present in the response of the competent bodies.

Sample details and representativeness

106 administrative offence cases in three specific areas: education, housing/neighborhood and security forces. They represent 44% of the administrative offence cases initiated by the Commission for Equality and Against Racial Discrimination between 2006 and 2016 and finalised until 20 February 2020.

DISCLAIMERThe information presented here is collected under contract by the FRA's research network FRANET. The information and views contained do not necessarily reflect the views or the official position of the FRA.