'More human rights training needed for Police'

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 06-02-2020 15:42:00 · 0 Comments

The Council of Europe have asked the Portuguese authorities to increase the training of security forces in the area of human rights, despite recognizing advances in the PSP and GNR Police forces in combating racial discrimination.

In a report the Committee for the Protection of Minorities of the Council of Europe highlights an audit by the Internal Administration Inspection (IGAI) of 2019 on police abuses and racial discrimination in the PSP and GNR, which concludes that there should be "a significant strengthening" in police training on human rights.

The Council of Europe also indicates that this audit signalled that security forces in Portugal have "a lack of knowledge" about the social contexts where they operate.

The document also states that the PSP and the GNR have been developing several projects aimed at improving contacts with the immigrant population, as well as specific policy measures that include training in human rights for policemen.

The Council of Europe reports on community policing introduced by the GNR (Republican National Guard), considering it "an important step for an organization that is still strongly linked to the armed forces".

The Council of Europe maintains that the police and public prosecutors have a "very narrow" definition of hate crime and the vast majority of cases are not reported.

The Council of Europe also calls on the Portuguese authorities to "effectively investigate hate crime" and to encourage people and groups exposed to racism to lodge complaints and to take the necessary measures to prevent and combat the dissemination of hate speech and racial discrimination in the media, including on the Internet.

The report also indicates that gypsy communities in Portugal continue to be discriminated against and live on the margins of society, with poor housing conditions, low levels of education and high unemployment rates, despite recognising the efforts of authorities to combat ethnic and racial discrimination.

The Council of Europe produced this report after visiting Porto, Figueira da Foz, Torres Vedras, Moura and Lisbon between 28 and 31 May 2019.


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