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Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 19th Session
Universal Periodic Review of Portugal
Statement by Australia
30 April 2014
Australia commends Portugal on the progress made on human rights since its last review in 2009, and notes the establishment of the Portuguese National Human Rights Committee in 2010.
Australia welcomes the priority given to prevention and investigation of domestic violence and notes the adoption of National Plans Against Domestic/Gender-Based Violence (2011-2013 and 2014-2017). However, we note with concern reports of increased domestic violence against elderly people. Australia recommends that particular attention be paid to this issue and to the needs of the families caring for older persons and that Portugal continue to increase community awareness of the serious nature of domestic violence.
Australia notes with concern reports of ill-treatment of persons detained by police and in prison custody. Australia recommends that Portugal ensure that reports of the use of excessive force or ill-treatment by law enforcement officials are fully investigated.
Australia acknowledges Portugal’s efforts to address discrimination and societal disadvantage experienced by Roma communities, including adoption of a National Strategy for the Integration of Roma Communities (2013-2020). Australia recommends that further concrete and effective steps be taken to improve access to housing, education and employment for Roma communities and to ensure that disadvantages are not compounded by austerity measures.