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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                                 

Portuguese Republic (Portugal)

Portugal has become a diversified and increasingly service-based economy since joining the European Community in 1986.

GDP per capita stands at roughly two-thirds of the EU-27 average. A poor educational system, in particular, has been an obstacle to greater productivity and growth.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Portugal

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Portugal.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Housing Policy In The EU Member States

Directorate General for Research, Working Document, Social Affairs Series W 14

[accessed 11 July 2011]

3.9 Portugal - Minimal past policies, poor housing

The Portuguese housing shortage is not merely cyclical but persistent, structural in its nature. The numerous shanty-towns, particularly in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Oporto where there are more then 42,000 barracas (huts) affecting about 162,000 people, are its most obvious manifestation. Significant and persistent migration from low-employment regions of the "interior" and from the former Portuguese African colonies has added to urban housing pressures. "Street children" and roofless families are evident in the streets of the two main cities, Lisbon and Oporto.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 February 2020]

CHILDREN - The government was strongly committed to children's rights and welfare. Nine years of compulsory, free, and universal education was provided for children through the age of 15. The majority of children attended school; however 45 percent dropped out before completing high school. The government also provided preschool education for children age four and older upon entry into primary school.

The government provided free or low cost health care for all children until the age of 15; girls and boys had equal access.

SECTION 6 WORKER RIGHTS – [d] There were reports that Romanian minors were often used for street begging.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 12 October 2001

[accessed 5 March 2011]

[48] In the light of its 1995 concluding observations [below], the Committee remains concerned at the number of street children in the State party's main cities.

[54] Noting the State party's policies targeting the specific needs of children of some minorities, the Committee remains concerned at the difficult social situation of Roma children and their insufficient access to the education system.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) - 1995

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 27 November 1995

[accessed 11 July 2011]

[17] The Committee is concerned by the increasing number of children living in the streets of the main cities and the lack of information in this area.

[24] The Committee recommends that measures be taken to give appropriate support to all children living at risk, especially children living on the streets. The Committee suggests that a comprehensive study be undertaken by the authorities so that they may be in a position to promote and implement policies and programs.

UN Committee On Economic, Social And Cultural Rights – Press Release

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 24th session, 15 November 2000

[accessed 11 July 2011]

DISCUSSION - Portugal said that a number of agencies had been set up to oversee the well being of children and their development in and outside the family.  In order to reduce child prostitution, particularly that catering to tourists, the Government had taken measures to create employment for street children.

A Session At The European Parliament...Words From The Street

Words From The Street - Call for Policy

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 11 July 2011]

[scroll down]

MADAME MATILDE SIRGADO, INSTITUTO DE APOYO A CRIANÇA, PORTUGAL - It was in 1989 that street work was born in Lisbon, with the backing of the European program to fight poverty: the number of street children had increased so much that it could no longer be denied.

Street work includes three types of action:

(a) The rescue of children in the street, especially those who are confronted with exploitation;

(b) The acquisition of personal and social skills leading to the autonomy of the community which the children belong to;

(c) The bringing back of values in order to change attitudes and policies in this field; the revalorization of children, through a preventive approach, interventions in the families and community-based actions.

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