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    During 2012 the OTSH produced two reports for the period January – August.Nonetheless, they are classified and only available internally. So, at the presentmoment we have only data of 2011. The 2011 Annual Report on Trafficking inHuman Beings was published and is available online:

    National Strategy/National Action Plan

    Portugal adopted its second Action Plan against Trafficking in Human Beings (2010-2013) in 2010.

    The National Action Plan has a total of 45 measures and focuses on four main areas:

    • Acknowledgement, Awareness and Prevention;
    • Education and training;
    • Protection and Support;
    • Criminal investigation and Cooperation.

    One of the outcomes of the National Action Plan is the consolidation of the national monitoring system from the responsible of the Observatory on Trafficking in Human Beings (OTSH), under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Its mission is to contribute to analysis of, knowledge of and intervention in trafficking in human beings and other forms of gender violence.

    During 2010 there were a total of 84 potential victims of trafficking. 10 of the victims confirmed were cases signalized during 2009. From those, and until March 2011:

    28 victims were considered as victims of other criminal offences (not as trafficking in human beings) - mainly involvement in smuggling, pimping, pimping and dmestic violence, illegal permanence in Portuguese territory. Some cases have been stoppend due to absence of proves/evidence. There are still 35 cases of potential victims.

    Types of exploitation

    14 of the potential victims were for sexual exploitation, 6 were for labour exploitation and 2 for sexual and laboutr exploitation. The main cause is a promised job, and the mechanisms of control of the victims are direct menaces, movement control and appropriation of documents, (for signalized victims) and direct threats in the case of confirmed victims.

    Criminal data

    N. of criminal proceedings initiated n grounds of THB:

    • 2008 - 43 cases
    • 2009 - 39 cases
    • 2010 - 28 cases

    Since 2008, Portugal has a monitoring system that collects desegregated data on (potential and identified) victims of THB from several data providers such as law enforcement agencies and NGO’s.
    Although data concerning 2011 is still under evaluation – and thus the current statistics are still provisory – here is brief overlook of the registered cases between 2008 and 2011:

    • 466 victims flagged by law enforcement agencies and by NGO’s;
      From this:
      • 108 victims identified/confirmed as VoT by law enforcement
        agencies (according to the police investigation outcome);
      • 260 flagged victims not confirmed as VoT by law enforcement agencies (according to the police investigation outcome). The basis for non-confirmation were as follows:
        • Illegal immigration: 82 registers;
        • Sexual exploitation: 54 registers. In 2 out of these 54, this crime accumulated with domestic violence and with kidnapping;
        • Smuggling: 6 registers;
        • Kidnapping: 5 registers;
        • Slavery: 4 registers;
        • Inexistence of crime: 34 registers;
        • Lack of victims and/or evidences: 28 registers;
        • Other crimes: 15 registers (includes crimes such as rape and
          criminal association);
        • Unknown: 32 registers;
      • 98 victims registers from law enforcement agencies are still pending (either police investigations still in course or from NGO’s flagging that did not developed into police investigations);

    Brief analysis of Identified/Confirmed Victims:

    • Sex: 61% female (n=66); 38% male (n=41); 1% data unknown (n=1);
    • Civil status: 70% single (n=76); 8% married (n=9); 4% divorced (n=4); 18% data unknown (n=19);
    • Age (data unknown in 9 registers):Average: 29 years (set deviation 11,3); Minimum age: 1 year old Maximum age: 58 years old
    • Nationalities:
      • 35% Portuguese (n=38);
      • 25% Brazilian (n=27);
      • 16% Romanian (n=17);
      • 15% Mozambican (n=16);
      • 2% Bulgarian (n=2);
      • 1% Nigerian (n=1);
      • 1% Chinese (n=1);
      • 1% Ukrainian (n=1);
      • 1% Senegalese(n=1);
      • 3% unknown (n=4);
    • Type of Exploitation:
      • 47% for sexual exploitation (n=51);
      • 46% for labor exploitation (n=50);
      • 3% for adoption (n=3);
      • 1% sexual and labor exploitation (n=1);
      • 3% data unknown (n=3).

    (Note: This analysis refers to data extracted on the 27 of January 2012).




    All forms of trafficking in human beings are criminal offences in Portugal. Until 2007, the Penal Code of 1982 criminalised only trafficking for sexual exploitation (Article 217). This law was amended in 2007 to include trafficking for forced labour, removal of organs and other forms of trafficking.

    The law prescribes penalties of three to ten years' imprisonment, which are commensurate with those for other serious crimes. The same penalty is applied to cases when the victim of trafficking is a child. The penalty is increased to a maximum of twelve years' imprisonment if the crime is conducted as a professional act with the intention to profit.

    In 2007, Portugal transposed the Council Directive 2004/81/EC (on the residence permit issued to third-country nationals who are victims of trafficking in human beings orwho have been the subjects of an action to facilitate illegal immigration, who cooperatewith the competent authorities). According to the Portuguese Immigration Law (Articles 109-112), victims of trafficking are granted a reflection period of a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 60 days. During this period, the victim is accommodated in the state reception centre and has to decide whether s/he wants to cooperate with the Portuguese authorities.

    Residence permits are granted on a case by case basis for a period of one year, and are renewable under specific conditions.

    The Law Decree nº 368/2007 allows for the granting of the residence permit even if the victim does not cooperate with the authorities, on the basis of security (of the victim and/or their relatives), health, family situation and other situations of vulnerability.


    National Strategy/National Action Plan

    Portugal adopted its first National Action Plan against Trafficking in Human Beings (2007-2010) in 2007.

    The National Action Plan has a total of 63 measures and focuses on four main areas:

    • Acknowledgement and diffusion of information;
    • Prevention, awareness raising and training;
    • Protection, support and integration of victims;
    • Criminal investigation and prosecution of trafficking.

    One of the outcomes of the National Action Plan is the creation of the Observatory on Trafficking in Human Beings (OTSH), under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Its mission is to contribute to analysis of, knowledge of and intervention in trafficking in human beings and other forms of gender violence.

    Portugal has approved the Second National Plan against Trafficking in Human Beings (2011-2013)

    There are four strategic intervention areas:

    • Knowledge, Awareness-raising and Prevention;
    • Education and training;
    • Protection and Support
    • Criminal investigation and Co-operation

    The second PNCTSH seeks to consolidate the national strategy in this domain, by strengthening the respective interventions areas. The second PNCTSH is based on the following strategic guidelines:

    • To continue the fight against gender stereotypes emphasizing the primacy of human rights;
    • To privilege the construction of an "acquis" on operational measures in the different strategic areas with clear and precise objectives, so as to facilitate their execution;
    • To promote reflection on different themes and realities characterizing human trafficking, notably referring to trafficking for sexual exploitation, and trafficking for labour exploitation, ina perspective of country of destination, of transit and country of origin. 


    Coordination of anti-trafficking actions at a national level

    A National Coordinator was appointed in January 2008 under the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG) within the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.

    The Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality is responsible for coordinating activities in the National Action Plan. It is supported by a Technical Commission, involving the presidency of the Council of Ministers and other competent ministries.

    The National Coordinator has the following responsibilities:

    1. Draft the annual reports on the level of execution of the National Action Plan and report accordingly to the overseeing Government members;
    2. Follow up and supervise the execution of the National Action Plan and responsible entities regarding their level of execution;
    3. Promote research projects that may contribute towards a better understanding of the field of action;
    4. Provide information, when requested, on legislative measures concerning the fight against human trafficking and the protection of victims of trafficking;
    5. Develop an institutional contact network involving civil society, allowing for an individual follow-up of the known trafficking phenomena and the identification of their victims;
    6. Establish contact with foreign and international peer entities regarding human trafficking;
    7. Promote and participate in developing national and international information networks and structures;
    8. Ensure the final assessment of the Plan’s execution by an external entity.

    The Technical Plan Coordination Support Commission set up to implement the first National Action Plan against human trafficking involved competent ministries (Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity, Ministry for Foreign Affairs).


    National Rapporteur or equivalent mechanisms

    A National Rapporteur was nominated in January 2008, in accordance with the National Action Plan. The National Rapporteur is also exercising the role of a National Coordinator.

    The National Rapporteur can propose new legislative measures for combating trafficking in human beings as well as measures to protect victims of trafficking. In addition to the National Rapporteur, the Observatory on Trafficking in Human Beings is mandated to produce, collect, analyse and disseminate information on trafficking in persons and other kinds of gender violence. The main tasks include:

    • To produce and collect information on human trafficking and other forms of gender violence,
    • To promote the development of software applications to support information gathering and treatment,
    • To support political decisions in its intervention areas when requested.

    The OTSH is also the responsible entity for the national monitoring system. Its goals are:

    • To collect quantitative and qualitative data from different entities with activities related to trafficking in human beings (of a criminal, judicial, prevention and support nature);
    • To retrospectively and prospectively analyze data, in order to generate knowledge on the phenomenon and of its criminal and social dynamics and trends;
    • To make the results easily accessible to all interested parties: namely law enforcement agencies and NGOs;
    • To improve policies, plans and control measures of the phenomenon.

    The most important challenge at national level

    The most important challenge at the present moment is to consolidate the national referral mechanism, improving channels of communication between public entities and also with NGO, and to adequate the response (because it is an area in costant change) with the data collection (monitoring system) that Portugal has implemented. Prevention and training are also important tools that will be in the frontline reagarding the Portuguese strategies for the next years. 



    In 2010, the OTHS, jointly with the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality and the Authority for Labour Inspection, provided professional training to labour inspectors on trafficking for labour exploitation. The main objective was to improve their professional skills in relation to the detection of possible cases of labour exploitation and provide an overview as far as legislation is concerned.

    OTHS launched a national website on trafficking in human beings on the 18th October 2009.

    Since 2008 the Portuguese government took several preventive measures to combat human trafficking. These included awareness-raising campaigns, such as:

    • The National Campaign against Trafficking in Human Beings was launched to raise awareness among victims of sexual or labour exploitation. In this framework, in order to encourage the reporting of trafficking, a telephone-hotline was established and multilingual brochures were developed and widely distributed. The theme of the campaign was Wake up to Reality: Don’t Ignore It – Report It.
    • The government promoted an awareness campaign in a northern Portuguese town to prevent the exploitation of Romanian immigrant farm workers.
    • A campaign called "You’re not for sale" was launched by Immigration and Border Control Service in order to alert students and hospital staff all over the country to the problem of human trafficking.
    • An awareness raising campaign was implemented within the CAIM project, whereby flyers for regional newspapers and 50.000 notebooks were distributed to security forces agents.

    Assistance and support provided to victims

    A number of government-funded non-governmental organisations provide assistance to trafficking victims. A temporary shelter was created specifically for victims of trafficking in June 2008. Between the opening and December 2010, it received more than 20 victims protected under the shelter. The victims were from Romania, Brazil, Bulgaria, Mozambique, and Portugal. All measures regarding protection, health care, legal assistance, translation and psychological support were undertaken by the shelter.

    Moreover, the government has employed a standardised method for collecting information on victims and informing those victims about available assistance. The government also works closely with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to ensure that victims return safely to their country of origin.

    Residence permit

    According to the Portuguese Immigration Law, victims of trafficking are granted a reflection period of a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 60 days. During this period the victim is accommodated in the state reception centre and has to decide whether s/he wants to cooperate with the Portuguese authorities.

    Residence permits are granted on a case by case basis for a period of one year, and are renewable under specific conditions. The government reported granting six permanent residency permits to victims of trafficking in 2009.
    Between 2008 and 2010, more than 20 victims were permitted a 30 to 60 day reflection period during which to decide whether they wished to participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution of their traffickers.

    Other latest initiatives/activities related to antitrafficking policy

    In these last month’s several training were developed for strategic agents in the area of trafficking. During the European day against trafficking in human beings (18 October) there were some initiatives related to the theme of trafficking in human beings: In Coimbra, with the presence of the Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Equality, a colloquium was held that was attended by the various agents that are working in this area. In Porto, an event was held to mark the day which was hosted by Family Planning Association in collaboration with the City Hall of Porto. The Observatory on Trafficking in Human Beings (Observatory), has signed 2 Protocols and 12 morandums of Understanding with several governmental and non-governmental bodies, in order to promote the development of studies in the field of trafficking in persons and specially to formalize data collection activities with a more structured network of data providers to the new database -“Dynamic Application”-. The Observatory carried out several training moments with the new data providers. Submission of a proposal for the development of an European project (ISEC funding),named “Towards a Pan-European Monitoring of Trafficking in Human Beings”. The main aim is the creation of a common European Monitoring Model (methodology and technology). Other participant countries are: Cyprus, Bulgaria, Austria and Greece. The project also foresees an Advisory Board with a group of experts from organizations such as: Europol, IOM/Lisbon, ICMPD, OSCE, and the Austrian Institute for International Affairs.

    • New Submission on the 24th of February: Other Interested Countries can still join.

    Conclusion of the revision of the Portuguese version of the restricted modules of the UNODC Anti-Trafficking Manual for Criminal Justice Practitioners. This project (public and restricted modules) aims to a large scale training:

    • Training of Portuguese experts in Vienna/UNODC – national dissemination (done April 2011);
    • Training of Experts form Portuguese Speaking Countries in Lisbon.
      Project submitted.

    In cooperation with the Centre for Judiciary Studies (Ministry of Justice), the Observatory is promoting, on the 2nd and 3rd February, the Seminar Illegal Immigration and Trafficking in Human Beings: Investigation, vidence, Legal Framework and Sanctions. Also in cooperation with the Centre for Judicial Studies (Ministry of Justice) the Observatory is concluding a publication: The Main National, European and International legislation on trafficking in human beings, including Jurisprudence and Political Documents.
    Itinerary Exhibition on trafficking in human beings travelling through the main Portuguese municipalities, with small conferences aimed at the local population and students.

    UNODC's campaign “Blue Heart” was launched in Portugal in the spring of 2012, and is for this occasion being reinforced in media, namely in telvision.

    Portugal is in process to implement the RAPVT – Network for Supporting and Protection of Victims of trafficking. A first meeting, held in Lisbon in September, was organized bythe Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG) and involved all the NGOs that work in the field of trafficking in human beings. The main objective of the RAPVT is to implement a more proactive approach from stakeholders and to implement links between public services and NGOs.

    Translation, adaptation and dissemination to all Portuguese speaking countries of the 25 modules (public and reserved). UNODC Anti-Human Trafficking Manual for Criminal Justice Practitioners - The OTSH, with the financial support of Portuguese Institute for Devolvement Support and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) organized the first training week for criminal justice practitioners for CPLP countries, after a similar training occurred for national experts 2011 in Vienna. This course took place in Lisbon, from 17th to 21st of September and received more than 20 trainees from Portuguese speaking countries.

    On the 18th of September 2012, was held a Conference on Domestic Servitude and Forces Begging: Invisible Forms of Trafficking for Labour Exploitation. On the 18th Of October 2012, Portugal re-launched the campaign of UNODC and held a Seminar regarding trafficking in human beings.

    During that Seminar, a Compendium Trafficking in Human Beings: All the relevant National, European and International legislation and Jurisprudence - the compendium was widely disseminated among prosecutors and law enforcement agents. It was also launched a signaling card of Victims of Trafficking (VoT) for NGOs.

    National Referral Mechanism

    A model of Signalization-Identification-Integration of victims of trafficking is at present being applied. This model encompasses an integrated, comprehensive and continuous support for Victims of Trafficking. This is possible due to structured approaches creating empathy with the victims, providing a shelter for their safety and promoting their reintegration in society and in the labour markets. The principal objectives of this model are:

    • to make available a network response based on research about fighting trafficking and its victims support;
    • to give special support to the victims, coordinated with different levels of intervention (legal, psychological, medical, social, training, among others);
    • to promote the victims personal development (knowledge, abilities, competences), to prevent them to fall again into victimization.

    The most important challenge at the present moment is to consolidate the National Referral Mechanism, improving channels of communication between public entities and also with NGOs, and to adequate the responses (because it is a area in constant change) with the data collection (monitoring system) that Portugal has implemented.


    In Portugal, some of the main examples of international cooperation to combat human trafficking are with third countries. Portugal has developed especially close ties with Brazil, which are preserved in a number of bilateral Declarations. With regard to cooperation with third countries, it is also important to mention the campaign on human trafficking You’re not for sale (Não estás à venda), which was implemented in Portugal, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Principe, Guinea-Bissau and Brazil.

    During the Portuguese Presidency of the EU, the first EU-Africa Summit took place, resulting in the establishment of an EU-Africa “Partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment”. One of the priorities of this partnership was to implement the EU-Africa Plan of Action on Trafficking of Human Beings. Also during this period an International Conference Trafficking in Human Beings and Gender was organised in Oporto, in October 2007. The Porto Declaration was presented in October 2007 in Brussels and was part of the Council Conclusions on Trafficking in Human Beings.

    Portugal has also participated in the “Development of a transnational referral mechanism for victims of trafficking between countries of origin and destination (TRM-EU)" Program, co-funded by the European Commission. The project was coordinated by Italy and ICMPD. This project ended in February 2010, and its main purpose was the production of guidelines for a Transnational Referral Mechanism for trafficked persons. Other countries involved were Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    The overall objective of "Promoting Transnational Partnerships – Preventing and Responding to Trafficking in Human Beings from Brazil to EU Members States" was to counter anti-trafficking efforts by reducing the numbers of victims from Brazil to the EU, particularly Portugal. The project started in July 2009 and will last for 24 months.

    Trafficking in Human Beings: System of Collection of Data and Harmonised Information Management Project” (Projecto Tráfico de Seres Humanos: Sistema de Recolha de Dados e Gestão de Informações Harmonizadas): the project started in October 2008 and lasted for eighteen months. One of the main purposes was to define common criteria of data collection and information on victims, traffickers and judicial decisions. Other participants include Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, ICMPD, the National Rapporteur in the Netherlands, the Association “On the Road” and NEXUS.


    Future plans in terms of implemetation of the directive 2011/36/EU

    Portugal, regarding the implementation of this Directive, is in the frontline concerning the measures included in this Directive.


    This crime is not dependent on reporting or accusation by a victim. 10 years of imprisonment (in case of minor 12 years), liability of legal persons, seizure and confiscation, legal counseling and assistance and protection for VoT, special measures for children (such as a guardian o a a representative for a child victim), compensation to victims of violent crimes (VoT).

    The II National Plan has measures for begging; a special Area is dedicated to cooperation with countries from PALOP; there is also a special area for prevention. It has also a perspective of gender.

    So, regarding the implementation of the Directive 2011/36/EU, Portugal has a set of measures that are already in accordance with this Directive.

    Given that Article 22 of this Directive, states that "Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 6 April 2013", Portugal is currently conducting a preliminary work in order to assess the legislative needs. However, taking into account that the prevention and combating of trafficking in human beings has received special attention by the Portuguese government in the last few years, namely, by incorporating in Portuguese law the obligations under international instruments to which Portugal is bound, including those whose standards and principles underpinning the drafting of this Directive, mainly the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, are not reasonably expected significant difficulties and any legislative changes will be minimal and surgical.

    The Ministry of Justice, as the entity responsible for transposing the Directive, has already started the process of needs assessment laws, to ensure compliance with the obligations that derive from here to Portugal. It is involved in an EU informal working group and participated in the meeting on the 22th October 2012.


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