B. Framework for the protection of the human rights of people of African descent

2. The national policy and legal framework

19. In Portugal’s legal regime, racism and its prohibition are referred to in article 13 of the Constitution, article 240 of the Criminal Code, Law 134/99 and Law 18/2004. Article 13.2 of the Constitution states that “no one may be privileged, favoured, prejudiced, deprived of any right or exempted from any duty for reasons of ancestry, sex, race, language, territory of origin, religion, political or ideological beliefs, education, economic situation, social circumstances or sexual orientation”. Article 240 of the Criminal Code prohibits racist organizations, incitement to discrimination or racist violence, racial vilification and making racist threats.

Law 134/99 on the Prohibition of Discrimination in the Exercise of Rights due to Motives based on Race, Colour, Nationality or Ethnic Origin covers direct and indirect discrimination. According to this law, racial discrimination includes any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, nationality or ethnic origin which results in annulling or restricting the recognition or exercise of a person’s economic, social and cultural rights. Law 134/99 establishes the CICDR to assist with the law’s implementation. Law 18/2004 makes racial discrimination an administrative offence as well which is actionable by the relevant Inspector General.

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