Human trafficking 'out of control' - Border agency

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 22-04-2018 09:17:00 · 1 Comments
Human trafficking 'out of control' - Border agency

The union that represents Portuguese border agency (SEF) officers said there was a “lack of control” of people trafficking in Portugal because there were not enough resources to prevent and fight this crime, which is increasing in the country.

The union is holding a conference on 27 Abril about “Human trafficking – SEF and the fight against human trafficking” and the topic was chosen because of the “frightening rise in recent years in human trafficking in Europe, namely in Portugal”.

The union said that human trafficking is “modern slavery” and is a crime that “has to be fought”.

“The SEF inspectors feel powerless as they do not have the resources to fight or pursue most of the crimes”, and in 2017 figures showed that there were thousands of foreigners being abused of farms and that the country had started being used as a new route for trafficking African children.

In most of the cases, the African children arrived with fake documents, but accompanied by adults with legal documents, almost always from Portuguese-speaking countries, the union leader said, stressing that the SEF inspectors “have managed to arrest traffickers and rescue some children”.

The union also said that labour exploitation in rural areas, particularly in Alentejo, “is out of control because of a lack of capacity by SEF to supervise most of the estates where the illegal workers are the victims of abuse”.


Yes , people get victimise all the time. I was admitted to portugal from uk. Was studying there visa regulations changed and i was forced to choose to look for work rather than study .I saw the trend of people coming to portugal for work as it was providing residency permits in 2014/2015. A guy told me that he could arrange work and get a work permit for me which was legal and i along with other people beleived him and gave our passports he said we would be travelling by car and we had visas for france and he was holding our documents. He showed us fake visas in a meeting . When the day came i was happy that i finally could work without restrictions ,pay taxes and hopefully complete my studies but the day i travelled here i was picked up from east london in a car and the car was full of 5 persons . Before sitting they asked us 550 pounds as a transport charge to portugal. We had no option but to give them the money . We sat thinking its a long drive it was about 9 pm and we left east london but after an hour or two we were asked to get out of the car and those guys who were following us in a car forcefully asked us to get inside the lorry . The lorry was full of people about 50/60 . I was so scared to see that and i refused to get inside seeing that i was not co-operating one guy told me if u dont get inside and go quietly we will have no option but to kill you.I was in limboo ,what to do and not to do after 5/6 hours the lorry dropped us in france was early morning ..we were in france without our passports ,documents, and with alot of effort and help from some good samaritians i entered portugal. I came here and initially it was very difficult to find work without documents , language barrier etc.. finally after seven months was finally able to work and since then i have been working ,paying tax ..though i have to work longer hours i am paying taxes with a hope of getting residency permit one day and i have also started studying i study during the day and work in the evenings until night and i work full day on weekends . I have been working since november 2015 and continiously working since then ,paying taxes waiting..... I am satisfied now because at least i am studying so that i have some skill to move forward..There are lots of people like me who are in limbo..I hope i had not made mistake of trusting some random guy . That mistake cost me three years of my studies and lot of hardship ,pain and indiscrimination.I have been going to the SEF for three times now and still waiting for the result of my application . Hopefully , they will be making the decision soon.

by D from Lisbon on 25-04-2018 11:40:00
Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.

Please note that The Portugal News may use selected comments in the printed edition of the newspaper.