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Lógó an Choimisiúin Eorpaigh
Migration and Home Affairs

General information: situation on trafficking in human beings

Victims

Between 2008 and 2020, the Observatory on Trafficking in Human Beings from the Ministry of Home Affairs, received 2 458 valid registers regarding presumed victims of trafficking.

Out of these, and up to the last data update (October 2019), 775 persons were identified as Confirmed Victims of Trafficking by the competent authorities. The remaining registers are classified by data providers as:

  • pending/in investigation
  • non confirmed or “not considered”
  • flagged by NGO/other organisations
  • “not considered” by ONG/other organisations

In the case of confirmed victims of trafficking, during the period 2008-2019:

  • Portugal is mainly a country of destination (66.8%), followed by country of origin (23.1% out of which 13.7% transnational and 9.4% domestic trafficking). To a lesser extent a country of transit (9.8%).
  • The majority of confirmed victims of trafficking were identified in trafficking in human beings for labour exploitation (70.6%) – majority of nationals from Romania (185), Portugal (153), and Moldova (89).
  • The second reason of trafficking in human beings with more confirmed victims of trafficking is for sexual exploitation (17.3%) – majority of nationals from: Romania (41), Brazil (31), and Nigeria (28).
  • The majority of confirmed victims of trafficking are male (63.5%) and adults (87%). Comparing age groups and gender two important findings appear:
  1. from the 12% of confirmed child victims, the majority are female (25.8%)
  2. the majority of adults are male (94.7%)

As for citizenship, 57.3% are EU nationals, from three main countries: Romania (31.2%), Portugal (22.8%), and to a lesser extent Bulgaria (3%). The African continent appears as the most representative if the counting unit is the number of countries and not the number of victims. This continent (14 countries – with 13.9% of confirmed victims) is followed by Asian countries (6, especially Nepalese victims – 5.3% of confirmed victims).

The territorial distribution of confirmed victims of human trafficking between 2008-2019 in Portugal (sample of 596), is shown in the graph below:

 Portugal-1

Map Legend

Região Autónoma dos Açores

Autonomous Region of the Azores

Região Autónoma da Madeira

Autonomous Region of Madeira

Norte

North

Centro

Center

AML

Lisbon Metropolitan Area (AML)

Alentejo

-

Algarve

-

Exploração laboral

THB for Labour Exploitation

Exploração sexual

THB for Sexual Exploitation

Outras formas de exploração

THB for other types of exploitation

Indefinido/desconhecido

THB Undefined/Unknown type of exploitation

From the observation of mapchart 1 there are two main findings:

  1. trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation is reported in most regions
  2. Alentejo represents 51% of confirmed victims in Portugal out of which 99% in trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation (agriculture sector)

Trafficking in human beings for labour exploitation refers to employers on seasonal farms who employ and exploit several dozen of foreign workers (during few months), which leads to a higher number of flagged presumed victims.

Workers are recruited to carry out seasonal work, such as harvesting olives, chestnuts, fruits or vegetables, from countries such as Romania, Pakistan, Nepal and India. They are transported to agriculture sites where they start to work and live with few or no health conditions, becoming totally dependent on the employers.

Due to the enormous geographical extension of the places where they are put to work, generally located in the interior of the Alentejo or in the west of the country, with difficult access conditions, their detection is difficult by the authorities in charge of supervising working conditions and staying in Portugal.

In this way, employers/traffickers obtain irregular labour and large financial profits with workers/victims completely dependent on the meagre salary they pay them, from which exaggerated abusive discounts are subtracted.

Relevant networks now encourage workers/victims to initiate legalisation processes, by obtaining the Fiscal Number and Social Security number to, subsequently, request residence permits.

Institutional and legal framework to address trafficking in human beings

Relevant legislation

In 2013, Portugal modified Article 160 (Trafficking in Persons) of the Penal Code following the transposition of  Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims.

Presently, the definition of trafficking in persons is the following:

1. Whoever offers, delivers, entices, accepts, transports, lodges or shelters any person for the purpose of exploitation, including sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, forced begging, slavery, removal of organs or the exploitation of other criminal activities:

a) by violence, abduction or serious threat

b) by fraudulent ruse or manipulation

c) with abuse of authority resulting from a relationship of hierarchical, economic, work or family dependence

d) by taking advantage of the psychic incapacity or situation of special vulnerability of the victim or

e) through obtaining consent from the person who has control over the victim

will be punished with a prison term of from three to ten years.

2. The same term is applied to someone who, through any means, incites, transports, proceeds to the lodging or shelter of a minor, or delivers, offers or accepts him/her for the purpose of exploitation, including sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, forced begging, slavery, removal of organs or the exploitation of other criminal activities.

3. In the case set forth in the previous number, if the agent uses any of the means set forth in the subsections of paragraph 1 or acts professionally or with the intention of monetary gain, he/she will be punished with a prison term of from three to twelve years.

4. The above penalties are increased for one third (in their minimum and maximum) if the conduct mentioned has:

a) endangered the victim's life

b) been committed with special violence or has caused particularly serious harm to the victim

c) been committed by public officials in the exercise of their duties

d) been committed within the framework of a criminal organisation or

e) as a result the suicide victim

5. Whoever, through payment or other compensation, offers, delivers, solicits or accepts a minor, or obtains or gives consent for his/her adoption, will be punished with a prison terms of from one to five years.

6. Whoever, having knowledge of the practice of the crime set forth in paragraph 1 and 2, to use the services or organs of the victim, will be punished with a prison term of from one to five years, if a longer term is not suitable because of another legal provision.

7. Whoever retains conceals damages or destroys the identification or travel documents of a person who is a victim of the crime set forth in paragraph 1 and 2 will be punished with a prison term of up to three years, if a longer term is not suitable because of another legal provision.

8. The victims consent regarding the crimes set forth in the previous numbers, does not exclude the wrongfulness of the act.

It is also relevant to note that the Act that approves the legal framework of entry, permanence, exit and removal of foreigners into and out of national territory (Article 109 of Law 23/2007) defines and identifies the possible situations for issuing residence permits to victims of trafficking in human beings. The residence permit is issued after the expiry of the reflection period if:

a) it is necessary to extend the permanence of the concerned party in national territory considering the interest his/her presence may have to judicial investigations and proceedings

b) whether he/she shows a clear intention to cooperate with the authorities in the investigation and repression of trafficking in human beings and facilitation of illegal immigration

c) whether he/she has severed all relations with those suspected of the offences listed in the preceding number

There is an exception to these criteria: authorisation of residence may be granted to a victim of trafficking of persons when the personal circumstances of the victim with regard to his/her situations of vulnerability of his/her family members or people with whom he/she has close relationships justify it (Decree-Law number 368/2007).

A reflection period is contemplated in the Act that approves the legal framework of entry, permanence, exit and removal of foreigners into and out of national territory (Article 111 of the Act 23/2007). Before the issuing of the residence permit foreseen a reflection period will be granted to the concerned person allowing him/her to recover and escape the influence of the perpetrators of the known offences. The minimum duration of this period is 30 days and the maximum duration of 60 days.

In addition, concerning the implementation measures of witness protection in criminal proceedings, Law Number 29/2008, includes a set of measures aiming at the protection of witnesses. Witness is considered as any person, regardless of their status before the law of procedure, who have information or knowledge necessary to revelation, perception or assessment of facts that are the subject of the case, which disclosure represents a real risk to themselves or others.

In the field of concrete protection measures, current legislation foresees that the identity of a witness is not disclosed when the testimony or statement concern the crimes of trafficking in persons, against the freedom of individuals, against sexual freedom or self-determination, among others (Law number 93/99). Moreover, situations where the risk can be reduced with the change of habitual residence, as well as the extent of police protection to the family, and the greater involvement of the police force responsible for the appropriateness of other measures are also covered. Particularly, Article 21 grants to special programs of witness protection in criminal proceedings, extendible, were appropriate, to close family members of the witness. In addition, Article 26 speaks of special protection measures due to the vulnerability of the witness, measured in a case by-case basis, depending on your small or advanced age, his health or from having to testify or give evidence against his own family or social group to which he belongs in a state of subordination or dependence. Under Article 31A it is possible to grant a moratorium where the protected witness is facing constraints, particularly economic, that prevent them from meeting financial obligations as a result of its cooperation with the justice.

The “Comissão de Programas Especiais de Segurança” (Commission for Special Security Programms - CPES), established by Law number 93/99, under the authority of the Minister of Justice, is responsible for the implementation of special programs for witness protection and ensures their effectiveness.

New legislation

The Portuguese Government issued the Order 138-E/2021, which approved a new model/documents regarding victim status of especially vulnerable victims, including Victims of Trafficking. These new instruments are the result of multisectoral work, coordinated by the governmental department of citizenship and equality, which is also in charge of coordinating 4th National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Human Beings (2018-2021).

These new documents aim to:

1. Update the previous models considering newer legislation – in practice, this mismatch often led to victims receiving two different documents with complementing information, which caused confusion and doubts.

 2. Produce documents that are clearer, simpler and easier for the victims to understand. This is fundamental considering that, at the time of receiving the documents, the victim is in an especially fragile situation, often unable to understand complex legal language and information about their rights. For this purpose, the documents were revised by specialized services to convert legal and procedural technical language into clear language. These more accessible documents aim to ensure that the victims themselves can understand and use the information that is given. This allows them to fully exercise their rights (and duties), be aware of all steps in the support process, and reduce doubts and fears. Therefore, the purpose is to empower the victims themselves.  

3. In the document pertaining to the especially vulnerable victim status, to provide information on victimisation areas that relate to specific rights, namely referring to trafficking in human beings, facilitation of illegal immigration and terrorism.

In practice, the information systems of the authorities which give the victim status will be able to issue for each victim his/her respective victim status document, corresponding to the specificities of his/her case. Therefore, with these new documents, victims will be able to better understand, access and exercise their rights, thus reinforcing their empowerment and protection.

National Referral Mechanism

In 2014, Portugal revised its National Referral Mechanism (NRM). The NRM until 2014 was developed in the framework of project CAIM (2008). Consequently, a new response should reflect the legal and institutional changes, namely: alteration of the Penal Code, progression on the level of knowledge on trafficking in human beings, change of its features (as a dynamic phenomenon), impact of the implementation of two National Action Plans, and the growth and specialization of (new) institutional actors (for instance, creation of RAPVT, new shelters, and the 4 Multidisciplinary Teams).

After the situation occurred in the south of Portugal in 2013, RPAVT held a meeting and decided that new clear procedures on articulation and cooperation between all actors (governmental and non-governmental) should be put in place in order to better support victims.

This new National Referral Mechanism, for both national and foreigners and for all forms of trafficking in human beings, foresees guidelines to help the identification of (presume) victims and the cooperation between actors in all its stages. The NRM is also a flowchart that identifies the ‘when’, ‘who’, ‘how’, and ‘for what’. This last stage identifies accordingly to each procedure the actors involved. A list of contacts is provided.

In 2021, Portugal launched the “Protocol for the definition of action procedures for the Prevention, Detection and Protection of (presumed) children victims of trafficking in human beings - National Referral System”. This Guideline is a measure of the 4th Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Human Beings (2018-2021), and of the National Implementation Plan of the Global Compact for Migration. It is also the commitment of Portugal to comply with international and European standards and recommendations (Committee of the Parties to the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings).

ACM’s Migrant Helpline (former SOS Immigrant Helpline) aims to answer the most frequently asked questions of migrants. One of its objectives is to signal and support victims of trafficking providing a service on information and referral support, with eventual support of the Telephone Translation Service (TTS), in cases when justified.

Protection of the victims and access to rights

All victims of trafficking receive adequate assistance and support, according to their needs in compliance with the Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims (2011/36/EU).

Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings have the right to subsistence, access to a suitable and urgent medical treatment, psychological assistance, protection, translation and interpretation services, as well as juridical services under the stipulations of the law. Foreign victims have the same access to care as domestic victims.

The five Shelter Protection Centres (CAP’s) provide support to women, men and children identified as victims of trafficking, regardless of their nationality, age, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, political orientation or socio-economic aspects. This support is also extend to minor children of the victims.

The purpose is to ensure temporary shelter in a secure environment, and to promote victim’s physical and emotional recovery and social integration.

The main objectives are:

  • to ensure protection and safety conditions
  • to assure medical support, emotional recovery, stabilization and well-being
  • to ensure access to information concerning rights, namely legal and social protection
  • to promote enlightened and self-determined decision making
  • to provide victims with the necessary instruments for future autonomy, regardless of the chosen place for integration

In addition to the existing structures, there are two shelter structures for victims of trafficking in Portugal. These apartments have the purpose to act as bridges for the full reintegration into society of victims of trafficking in human beings accommodated by the Shelter Protection Centres.

Portugal has five regional Specialised Multidisciplinary Teams (EMEs)  (North, Center, Lisbon, Alentejo and Algarve), following a proximity perspective, in close collaboration with qualified professionals from governmental and non-governmental institutions, namely law enforcement agencies and the three trafficking in human beings Shelter Protecting Centres. It is through such collaborative work that the victim’s emotional stabilization and social reintegration is promoted via psychological, health, social and legal support.

The five Specialised Multidisciplinary Teams have their main role in the moment of signalisation/identification, articulating with law forces and providing all the possible arranges for the victims needs of security, health, accommodation, safety return, integration in a specific shelter.

It is important to refer that in 2013 a Protocol that created the Network for Assistance and Protection to Trafficking in Human Beings victims (RAPVT) was created, as a structure that brings together governmental and non-governmental organisations directly or indirectly working on the area of trafficking in human beings in Portugal. Thus, the Network for Assistance and Protection to Trafficking in Human Beings victims guarantees, on the one hand, a better form of intervention, support and articulation of a more organised and sustained on the problem of trafficking in human beings. Secondly, the Network provides with a better source of information for criminal investigation and the repression itself. It gathers both governmental and non-governmental organisations and aims to create a platform for the implementation of new forms of intervention, through the enhancement of agent’s skills, in order to promote a social reintegration of victims of trafficking.

The consolidation of RAPVT Network aims to implement new paradigms of intervention by strengthening the skills/the different agents of intervention and the improvement of organisational practices.

It is important to highlight that all the member of the RAPVT Network participated actively in the update of the National Referral System. They have participated in the strategic planning of actions, in decision-making, as well as in the evaluation of the intervention carried out in relation to the measures and policies on this phenomenon in Portugal.

Currently, there are five networks (North, Centre, Lisbon, Alentejo and Algarve) each one integrating via Protocols, local governmental and non-governmental partners such as NGOs, law enforcement agencies, health entities, employment agencies, local authorities, children’s protection structures, amongst others. The aim is strengthening partnerships and facilitating communication at a regional level as an essential methodology for immediate and effective responses towards victim’s flagging/identification and assistance processes.

These Regional Networks plan their annual action through joint meetings and monitoring committees, promoting training actions between partners and carrying out joint actions, such as awareness campaigns or interventions in response to indicators or suspicion of trafficking in human beings.

In May 2013, a structure was created within the National Health Service to respond to violence throughout the lifespan of individuals. Not unlike the structure created in 2008 which responded to abuse of children and the young, this structure hereafter named “Ação de Saúde Sobre Género, Violência e Ciclo de Vida” (ASGVCV) has among its main objectives the prevention of interpersonal violence, including domestic violence, stalking, dating violence, violence against the elderly, vicarious violence, and trafficking in human beings.

In this context, teams were created to address the prevention of violence in adults (Equipas para a Prevenção da Violência em Adultos- EPVA). These multidisciplinary units integrate doctors, nurses, psychologists and social workers, acting as the health team’s consultants or, in exceptional cases, managing directly situations, which exceed the capacity of health teams. In the scope of this action, a theoretical framework for good practice in this area was also developed, as well as procedural flowcharts aimed at all health care professionals in the national health care system. Training within this framework of intervention began in 2014.

Prosecution of traffickers and perpetrators: statistics

Table 1: Number of crimes recorded by police forces, by crime of trafficking in persons, between 2008-2020

Number of crimes recorded by police forces, by crime of trafficking in persons

Year

2008-2020

Crime

N. Crimes

(CC) Against persons

Against personal freedom

Trafficking in persons

556

    

Last updated on 30 March 2021

Table 2: Number of suspects of crimes in trafficking in persons recorded by police forces, between 2008-2020

Number of suspects of crimes in trafficking in persons recorded by police forces

Year

2008-2020

Crime

N. Male suspects

N. Female suspects

Total

(CC) Against persons

Against personal freedom

Trafficking in human beings

293

88

381

      

Last updated on 30 March 2021

Table 3: Number of suspects detained for trafficking in persons recorded by police forces, between 2008-2020

Number of suspects detained for trafficking in persons recorded by police forces

Year

2008-2020

Crime

N. Male suspects

N. Female suspects

Total

(CC) Against persons

Against personal freedom

Trafficking in human beings

NA

NA

20

      

Last updated in 30 March 2021

Table 4: Number of criminal cases of trafficking in human beings at the trial stage at courts of first instance, between 2008-2019

Number of criminal cases of trafficking in human beings at the trial stage at courts of first instance

Year

2008-2019

Crime

N. Cases

(CC) Against persons

Against personal freedom

Trafficking in human beings

50

    

Last updated on 30 October 2020

 

To note:

  • The counting of cases takes in consideration the more serious crime of the case.
  • The cases that were transferred, attached, incorporated or joined to other procedures, those that were sent to another entity and those marked as "N.E." and modality of the term "N.E." are not counted.
  • From January 2007, the data regarding the courts of first instance are gathered directly from the courts’ computer system, thus the information is more dynamic due to the corrections that can be made to the data received by this new means of collection.

 

Table 5: Number of defendants in criminal cases of trafficking in persons with completed trials at courts of first instance, between 2008-2019

Number of defendants in criminal cases of trafficking in persons with completed trials at courts of first instance

Year

2008-2019

Crime

Natural persons defendants

Legal persons defendants

Total

(CC) Against persons

Against personal freedom

Trafficking in human beings

200

13

213

      

Last update on 30 March 2020

To note:

  • The counting of cases takes in consideration the more serious crime of the case.
  • The cases that were transferred, attached, incorporated or joined to other procedures, those that were sent to another entity and those marked as "N.E." and modality of the term "N.E." are not counted.
  • From January 2007, the data regarding the courts of first instance are gathered directly from the courts’ computer system, thus the information is more dynamic due to the corrections that can be made to the data received by this new means of collection.

 

Table 6: Number of defendants in criminal cases of trafficking in persons completed at trial stage at courts of first instance, between 2008-2019

Number of defendants in criminal cases of trafficking in persons completed at trial stage at courts of first instance

Year

2008-2019

Crime

N. Male defendants

N. Female defendants

Non specified sex defendants

Total

(CC) Against persons

Against personal freedom

Trafficking in human beings

143

48

9

200

 

Last updated on 30 October 2020

 

To note:

  • The counting of the defendants takes in consideration the more serious crime for which they were accused.
  • The cases that were transferred, attached, incorporated or joined to other procedures, those that were sent to another entity and those marked as "N.E." and modality of the term "N.E." are not counted.
  • From January 2007, the data regarding the courts of first instance are gathered directly from the courts’ computer system, thus the information is more dynamic due to the corrections that can be made to the data received by this new means of collection.

 

Table 7: Number of convicted persons in criminal cases of trafficking in persons completed at stage at courts of first instance, between 2008-2019

Number of convicted persons in criminal cases of trafficking in persons completed at trial stage at courts of first instance

Year

2008-2019

Crime

Natural persons convicted

Legal persons convicted

Total

(CC) Against persons

Against personal freedom

Trafficking in human beings

106

9

115

Last updated on 30 October 2020

To note:

  • The counting of the defendants takes in consideration the more serious crime for which they were accused.
  • The cases that were transferred, attached, incorporated or joined to other procedures, those that were sent to another entity and those marked as "N.E." and modality of the term "N.E." are not counted.
  • From January 2007, the data regarding the courts of first instance are gathered directly from the courts’ computer system, thus the information is more dynamic due to the corrections that can be made to the data received by this new means of collection.

 

Table 8: Number of persons convicted for criminal cases of trafficking in persons completed at trial stage at courts of first instance, between 2008-2019

Number of persons convicted for criminal cases of trafficking in persons completed at trial stage at courts of first instance

Year

2008-2019

Crime

N. Male defendants

N. Female defendants

(CC) Against persons

Against personal freedom

Trafficking in human beings

78

27

Last updated on 30 October 2020

To note:

  • The counting of convicted persons takes in consideration the more serious crime for which they were convicted.
  • The cases that were transferred, attached, incorporated or joined to other procedures, those that were sent to another entity and those marked as "N.E." and modality of the term "N.E." are not counted.
  • From January 2007, the data regarding the courts of first instance are gathered directly from the courts’ computer system, thus the information is more dynamic due to the corrections that can be made to the data received by this new means of collection.

 

Table 9: Number of convicted persons in criminal cases of trafficking in persons at trial stage at courts of first instance, final condemning decision, between 2008-2019

Number of convicted persons in criminal cases of trafficking in persons at trial stage at courts of first instance, final condemning decision

Year

2008-2019

Crime

Total of Convicted persons

Final Condemning decision

(CC) Against persons

Against personal freedom

Suspended Emprisonment

Emprisonment

Suspended imprisonment with behaviour rules

Suspended imprisonment with probation system

Dissolution on Collective Person

6

53

4

42

8

 

Last updated on 30-10-2020

To note:

  • The counting of the convicted persons takes in consideration the more serious crime for which they were convicted.
  • The cases that were transferred, attached, incorporated or joined to other procedures, those that were sent to another entity and those marked as "N.E." and modality of the term "N.E." are not counted.
  • From January 2007, the data regarding the courts of first instance are gathered directly from the courts’ computer system, thus the information is more dynamic due to the corrections that can be made to the data received by this new means of collection.

 

Table 10: Total number of inmates convicted for trafficking in persons

Total number of inmates convicted for trafficking in persons

2013

5

2014

4

2015

7

2016

6

2017

6

2018

9

2019

26

2020

24

Last updated on 30 October 2020

Data source: Ministry of Justice

Prevention

Each year on October 18, on the European Day against Trafficking in Human Beings, Portugal launches a national campaign aiming at raising awareness on the risk of human trafficking. Every year, several initiatives connected to human trafficking are organised by regional networks to support and help protect the victims of trafficking.

National Action Plan

Presently, Portugal is finishing the implementation of its 4th Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Human Beings (2018-2021), which was approved at the Portuguese Council of Ministers Meeting. At this moment, Portugal has started preparing its 5th Action Plan. 

Cross-border cooperation to address trafficking in human beings

The Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) and the Judiciary Police (PJ) assume national representation in the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats – EMPACT. They actively participate in the project and contributed decisively to intensifying the Portuguese presence in this forum within the scope of the Operational Action Plan (OAP).

From 2019, the EMPACT strategic objectives defined in the area of ​​combating trafficking in persons focused on various operational activities, in which SEF participated on behalf of Portugal under the coordination of the UATP (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit).

Joint Action Day against labour exploitation

Operational activities took place from 8 to 14 April 2019 throughout Portugal with all Regional Directorates of SEF involved together with ACT - Authority for Working Conditions. They carried out appropriate actions targeting numerous documental and labour situations of foreigners with a focus on the Chinese community as a way to detect possible situations of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation.

In September 2019, under the EMPACT Operational Action Plan (OAP), for the first time a Joint Action Day Labour Exploitation in the Agricultural Sector was carried out, its specific objective was the topic of combating exploitation for the purpose of agricultural labour.

Once again, SEF participated in this European operational action on behalf of Portugal. This time, combined inspection operations took place in the agricultural sector throughout the country. More than three hundred victims were detected.

Joint Action Day against child trafficking

The event took place between 17 and 23 June 2019, and once again had the participation of the Foreign Service and Borders (SEF) representing Portugal.

70 individuals suspected of trafficking with minors were arrested across Europe. UATP collected, treated and sent to Europol data collected during the period of operational activity. For the first time mobile controls were carried out during the joint action day, together with other OPCs (law enforcement agencies) namely the Guarda Nacional Republicana. These controls aimed at detecting and flagging children, possible victims of trafficking, who were flagged in secondary border movements.

Large Scale Joint Action Day against sexual exploitation, forced criminality and forced begging

From 16 to 25 September 2019, operational actions were carried out at European level in the scope of the Large Scale Joint Action Day of Europol and EMPACT. According to the objectives, SEF developed actions to combat trafficking in people in various aspects, including sexual exploitation, crime and forced begging.

Once again, the UATP coordinated, collected and reported the data to Europol, for the purposes of intelligence gathering and cross checking.

Within the scope of the EMPACT project, the UATP participated in several meetings to plan operational actions. Also, within the scope of collaboration/exchange of information with EU countries through Europol, the UATP responded to 72 requests for information transmitted via SIENA - Secure Information Exchange Network Application.

In 2020, concerning the national participation in the Joint Action Days (JAD) within the scope of the EMPACT project, there were several operational activities, in which SEF participated on behalf of Portugal and under the coordination of UATP:

• JAD Labour Exploitation

• JAD Child Trafficking

• JAD Labour Exploitation – related to labour exploitation in the agricultural sector

The Joint Action Day on labour exploitation and labour exploitation in the agricultural sector took place simultaneously from 14 September to 20 September throughout the national territory with all Regional Directorates of the SEF together with the ACT – Authority for Working Conditions. They carried out operational actions concerning numerous documental and labour situations of foreign citizens in national territory, in order to detect possible situations of human trafficking for the purposes of labour exploitation in the agricultural sector and others.

At Interpol Human Trafficking Expert Group meetings where there are participants of  national expert from the PJ and SEF, it is important to highlight the participation of a representative of the PJ in an online meeting, in December – “Addressing Emerging Challenges to Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Especially of Women and Children”. The UATP continues to ensure national representation in Interpol's Human Trafficking Expert Group (HTEG), having participated in all requested actions.

Also, concerning cooperation with Interpol, a member of the UATP ensures national participation in the Initiative “The Future Series – futures and foresight for law enforcement”.

Relevant links to national authorities and institutions websites, and other relevant contacts

APF: Specialised Multidisciplinary Teams

APFs (Portuguese family planning centres) run Specialised Multidisciplinary Teams devoted to detecting trafficking in human beings, collaborating closely with law enforcement, and providing a variety of assistance to victims including: security, health, accommodation, safe return to their country of origin, integration and other help.

Alentejo region

Helpline: 808 257 257

E-mail: apf.sostsh.alentejo@gmail.com

Algrave region

Helpline: 91 865 41 06

E-mail Algarve: apf.sostshalgarve@gmail.com

Central Portugal

Helpline: 91 888 29 42

E-mail Central Portugal: apf.sostshcentro@gmail.com

Lisbon city

Helpline: 91 865 41 04

E-mail Lisbon: apf.sostshlisboa@gmail.com

North region

Helpline: 91 385 85 56

E-mail: apf.sostshnorte@gmail.com

High Commission for Migration

The High Commission for Migration has the mission of collaborating on, determining, executing and assessing the public, transversal and sectorial policies concerning migrations. Theseare relevant for the integration of migrants in the national, international and Portuguese-speaking contexts, for the integration of migrants and ethnic groups – in particular, the gypsy communities, and for managing and valuing the diversity between cultures, ethnic groups and religions.

Helpline: 91 865 41 01

National rapporteur or equivalent mechanism

The Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality

E-mail: mjalbano@cig.gov.pt

Observatory on Trafficking in Human Beings (OTSH)

Website: http://www.otsh.mai.gov.pt

Law enforcement

Immigration and Borders Service

Website:http://www.sef.pt

Judiciary Police

Website:https://www.policiajudiciaria.pt

Civil society organisations

Family Planning Association

Wensite:http://www.apf.pt

Saúde em Português

Website:http://www.saudeportugues.org

UMAR

Website: http://www.umarfeminismos.org

AKTO

Website: http://www.akto.org/pt

APAV

Website: https://apav.pt