Uma questão central é saber de que modo o naps contribuiu para a redução da pobreza consistente



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Regional Action Plan for the

Inclusion of the Algarve

2007-2009

Draft







Portugal, June 2007




Content




Content 2

Introduction Note 3

PART I 4

Situation and Main Trends 4

Part II 25

Regional strategy, Measures| Instruments, Targets and Indicators 25

Part III 42

Governance 42

Part V 46

Good Practice 46

ANEXOS 52

52


ANEXO I – Matriz de Indicadores Regionais de Inclusão Social 53

ANEXO II – Processo “Mini-Fóruns dos Imigrantes” 120

ANEXO III – List of Measures | Instruments, Targets and Indicators 133

ANEXO IV – Form on collecting information – monitoring measures| instruments and targets 160

ANEXO VI – Estrutura metodológica para o acompanhamento, monitorização e avaliação do processo de Inclusão Social ao nível Regional, articulada com o nível nacional e local | uma proposta para a boa governação ao nível da UE 165



Introduction Note



Combat Social Exclusion and Promote Regional and Local Development
Put poverty and social exlusion on the political agenda and efforts to combat these issues at different levels of governance, local, regional and national, implies the mobilization of all relevant actors. It also involves a public awareness which will only acheive effecive results if there is a convergence of synergies and the sharing of common objectives in establishing partnerships which act in an articulated, strategic and planned form.

It is important to bear in mind some fundamental characteristics of modern societies which on a daily basis recall the need for joint interventions, namely, the importance of demographic and economic questions, whose consequences are on the other side of eradicating poverty and social exclusion. Several social economic polarizations have been difficult to solve at different territorial levels.

It is essential to eradicate poverty because of issues related to social cohesion and equality, once that a sustainable, just and prosperous society will only be cohesive if all citizens can benefit from acceptable life conditions. Poverty and exclusion constitute clear disadvantages limiting the social economic potential of the populations and therefore, weaken the competitive territorial. And because poverty and exclusion are factors of alienation and weaken social ties with individual, collective and financial costs reflected on all of society,

In this context, it is fundamental for the different territory levels to establish parnternships between them or to use the already existing ones in order to moblize all and intervene to solve the Regional and/or local needs which are important in governance, thus implying cooperative work which should be considered as a contribution for a more participative, democratic and inclusive culture.

The establishment of territorial “pacts” between all regional and local partners with the purpose of assuming a commitment in the fight against poverty and social exclusion, may be an important condition for the mobilization of partnerships and the implementation of the regional and/or local process of social inclusion.

PART I

Situation and Main Trends



Demographic and Territorial Context
The Algarve region is located South of the country, bordered north by the Alentejo, the Atlantic Ocean to the south and west and by the spanish province of Huelva to the east. Geografically speaking it is considered a peripheral Region aggravated by the fact it borders under-developed regions in the national and spanish context, therefore leading to increasing difficulties in its promotion and development.

It is a region composed by one district Faro-, 16 municipal councils and 84 parishes. It should be noted that the 16 municipalities possess socials Networks.

Figure 1 | Councils in the Region of the Algarve

In the last three decades, there has been a deep structural change in the region. The Algave had been a depressed, isolated and remote region with a low standard of living, mass immigration with a rudimentary economy, based on traditional agriculture, artisanal fisheries and in the processing of some of the products deriving from these activities, when it started to develop its urban concentration along the coastline with an economy based on the tertiary sector (specially in tourism, in the building sector, wholesaling and retailing) and to provide opportunities and quality of life, thus contributing to attract populations from other regions of the country and foreigners.

In 2004, there were 405 000 inhabitants living in the region, among 66.7% were between 15-64 years, 18.7% over 65 years and 14.7% between 0-14 years. During this same year, the birth rate recorded was (11.7%0) higher than when compared to the national average (10.4%0)1.

Between 1991 the 2001, the Algarve had an increase in population of almost 16%, a higher figure than in any other region of the country. This fact was due to the continuous Migratory movement of people coming from abroad and other regions of the country 2.

Besides showing a positive natural balance (0.2%0) and attracting young and active people to live there, the truth is that the region since 1985 has suffered a significant increase in the ageing of the population, specially in the mountainous regions, where in some minicipal councils, it was three times higher than that of the younger people under 15 years3. The study tipifying situations of exclusion in Portugal (2005), tipifies within this scope the Municipal Councils of the region in the following way:

- Castro Marim – ageing territory and economically depressed; ageing of rural population, poor and few infrastructures;

- Alcoutim – ageing territory and desertified; ageing, poor and few infrastructures;

- Aljezur, Monchique, Silves and Vila do Bispo – ageing of rural population, poor and few infrastructures4.

It should be noted that in 2004, the ageing indicator was 127.4 for old people showing that this indicator had a tendency to increase.

The region’s development was also followed by a decline in agriculture, fishing activities; a great spatial concentration of the economy, intense occupation of the coast, human desertification and ageing of the poulation, in particular in the Mountains (Serra) and most of the Barrocal. About 1/3 of the resident population lives on 80% of the regional territory characterized by weak populational density, human desertification and ageing of the population, with a rural economy which is not very market oriented, and levels of wealth quite below the regional average with poor service standards and collective infrastructures in relative terms5.

Figure 2| Resident population in Places with 2000 or more inhabitants in the Region, 2001



Source: CCDR Algarve: “Regional Development strategy of the Algarve, 2007-2013”, 2006.

Figure 2| Ageing Index, 2001




Source: CCDR Algarve: “Development statregy of the Algarve, 2007-2013”, 2006.

Regarding the foreign population residing legally6 in the Region, 87 552 foreign citizens, which means an increase in the number of foreign citizens of 378,9% as opposed to 1998 (23 105).

The last years, beginning at the end of the 1990’s, were marked by a strong influx of immigrants originating from Brasil and countries of Easten Europe, specially from Ukraine, Moldavia, Russia and Romania, as well as, by a continued migratory flow of africans, mainly from Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Angola.

Graph 1 | Evolution of the legal foreigners residing in the Algarve Region between 1998-2005, according to the 10+ nationalities





Sourcee: Directorate Regional for the Aliens and Borders Service in the Algarve
The increase in the number of foreign citizens living legally in the Region is due to the national measures (extraordinary legalizations and bilateral agreements between countries, for ex.portuguese-brazilian agreement), as well as the alterations in the procedures implemented at a regional level to deburocratize and provide quicker procedural steps regarding documentation requests and also to the continued inspection of illegal work.

In fact, the Aliens and Border Service in the Algarve has invested in dessiminating information, and being quicker in the legalization procedures of the foreigners residing in the region and has penalized those seeking to benefit from illegal workers and thus providing, the access to one of the most crucial steps in order to welcome and integrate this population. Between 2001-2004, this authority granted and renewed documents under the following terms:



  • Granted all Temporary and Permanent Residence Permits (100%);

  • Granted more than 79% of the applications for residence permit with visa exemption;

  • Family Reunification – Granted all applications between 2001-2002, 41.9%, in 2003 and 59%, in 2004;

  • Increased the number of permits and renewal of temporary or permanent residence permits and from the European Union - 489 (2001) e 1545 (2004), 61 (2001) e 698 (2004), 1045 (2001) e 2082 (2004), respectively;

  • Increased the number of extended stays, in particular, short stay (488, in 2001 and 1576, in 2004), of temporary stay (72, in 2001 and 961, in 2004) and temporary stay to accompany a family member (3167, in 2003 and 3396, in 2004);

  • Issued favourable advice to an annual average of 80% of visas subject to prior consultation7.

Despite the fact that the foreign population residing in the Region recognised the improvement carried out in particular with the legalisation process in Portugal, they emphasized some aspects still needing improvement, such as, for the population living alone, burocracy and long wait in obtaining family reunification8, however, it should de referred that family reunification is not the sole responsibility of the Aliens and Borders service since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also intervenes in the process.

It should be noted that under the legislation enforced9, the legal possibility for family reunification and regrouping is valued as well as the rapidity to obtaining extention in stays and the possibility to regularize their Social Security situation.

Regarding the Nationality Law10, the participants in the Mini-Fora demonstrated their lack of knowledge and alerted to the fact they had doubts concerning the necessary time needed for the legalization of children. In the case of those knowing the Law, they highlighted some of its positive aspects: shorter period of stay in Portugal to obtain the portuguese nationality; greater simplification of the process in obtaining the nationality under the chapter on family reunification11.

The economic context and the urban dynamic mentionned previously were important to the foreign population when settling in a dispersed way along the Region. In 2005, it was noted there were few foreign citizens living in the Municipal Councils located inland of the region, once that the vast majority resided in municipal councils near the coastline.

The brazilian community lives mostly in Albufeira, Faro, Portimão and Quarteira. The Ukraine and English communities live in almost every Municipal Councils of the Region. While those originating from Romania reside mainly in Almancil, Portimão, Albufeira, Faro and Lagos, the Moldavian live mostly in Portimão, Albufeira, Faro, Lagos and Armação de Pêra. The African community lives mainly in Albufeira, Faro, Lagoa, Lagos, Loulé, Olhão, Portimão, Tavira, Almancil and Quarteira. And the Germans reside mostly in Armação de Pêra, Almancil, Albufeira, Lagoa, Lagos and Loulé.

Graph 2 | Distribuition of the legal foreign citizens (10+ nationalities) residing in the Algarve Region, according to their place of residence, 2005





Source: Directorate general for Aliens and Borders service in the Algarve

In 2005, 51% of the foreign citizens residing in the region were men and 48% women.

About 70% of the foreign citizens were active (25-54 anos), followed by 17% over 55 years, 8% between 15-24 years and 6% under 14 years. When Analysing the age group distribution according to the 10+ nationalities, it is noted that the british, germans and dutch are the largest group among the foreigners over 55 years, when compared to the cape verdian, brazilians, ukranians which represent in percentage a younger population, in paricular, from 0-14 years and 15-24 years. A high percentage of foreign citizens from Brazil, Republic of Moldova, Ukcraine and Romania are between 25-54 years12.

So as to finalize, it is important to mention the substantial differences which exist in the type of immigration related to educational background and professional integration according to the country of origin. In fact, the foreign citizens originating from african and asian countries possess low school levels when compared to the foreigners from Eastern Europe and Brazil who have secondary or higher education.13.

In 2005, regrding Professional integration, the following typification was noted in the Algarve Region when analysing the 10 t+ nationalities, in a legal situation:


  • The citizens originating from Germany, Great Britain, and Netherlands occupied in a larger percentage jobs considered as top management: Top Public Administrators and Corporate Manager? ‘specialists in intelectual and scientific professions, ‘technicians and professionals of intermediate level’ and ‘administrative staff and similar positions’. Followed by the Brazilians which in smaller numbers have been able to access these professions, as opposed to the community of eastern european countries which have not been able to even if many of them possess higher education;

  • A high percentage of citizens originating from the Republic of Moldava, Ukcraine, Romania, occupied unskilled professions: ‘blue collar workers, craftsmen and similar crafts’, ‘unskilled workers’, ‘site instalações and machine operators and assembly workers’, ‘farmers and skilled workers in agriculture and fisheries ’ and ‘service personnel and vendors’;

  • The citizens originating from african countries also occupied unskilled professions, ‘blue collar workers, craftsmen and similar crafts’, ‘unskilled workers ’ ‘farmers and skilled workers in agriculture and fisheries’;

  • It is noted that the brazilian community was strongly integrated in professions such as ‘service personnel and vendors’.

Graph 3 | Distribuition of the foreign citizens by Professional groups residing in the Region of the Algarve, by 10+ nationality, 2005 (%)



source: Calculations carried out within the Project based on administrative data provided by SEF- Algarve: counting of visas / valid residence permits in 2005/12/31, in the Algarve Region, by professions

Inequality and Regional Poverty

In 2004, 21% of the portuguese population (as opposed to 16% in EU25)14 lived in poverty, that is lived below the poverty threshold15. In 2000, this rate was inferior in 1.8%.

In 2000, 13.5% of the total family income came from non monetary income16. This situation had its effect on the poverty risk, that is, 17.9% lived in poverty as opposed to 19.2%, in the case of only considering monetary income17.

The Autonomous Regions enhanced a greater incidence of poverty while in the Mainland, this incidence was higher in the Regions of the Algarve, Centre and Alentejo when comparing the indicators in 1995 and 2000.

In the case of the Region of the Algarve, 25% of the resident population lived below the poverty threshold and maintained this same rate in relation to 1995, contrarily to other Regions in the country where the incidence of poverty decreased slightly.

It was noted that the non monetary component influenced by reducing the risk of poverty in a very significant form if total family income had been considered. However, this influence was more expressive in 1995 than in 2000.

Table 1 – Risk of monetary poverty by type of economic resource in 1995 and 2000,

Portugal and NUTS II



 

Type of Economic Resource

 

Monetary Income

Total Income

 

1995

2000

1995

2000

Monetary Poverty Threshold (€/year)
(60% of the economic resource median equivalent)

2 612

3 716

3 177

4 379

Risk of monetary poverty (%)




 







Total

20,1

19,2

18,3

17,9

North

16,8

20,6

15,4

18,4

Centre

26,6

23,6

21,7

19,6

Lisbon and Tagus Valley

16,1

12,3

16,6

13,1

Alentejo

27,1

22,3

25,8

21,2

Algarve

25,3

25,2

17,6

23,2

Autonomous Region of the Azores

38,0

33,3

31,0

35,9

Autonomous Region of Madeira

34,2

33,1

30,4

31,8

Fonte: Calculations carried out by DGEEP/MTSS based on the anonimized data from the Family Budget survey 1994/95 and 2000 conducted by the National Institute of statistics within the scope of the project "Poverty Measures and Social Exclusion ".

The inequality of income distribution continues to be a serious problem in Portugal, specifically among the populations with higher and lower income, between regions and people of different nationalities.

The degree of inequality in the distribution of income is still the highest in the EU. In 2004, the proportion of income recieved by the richest 20% of the population was 7.2 greater than that received by the poorest 20% in relation t0 4.8% in EU18. On the other hand, it is important to mention that the income of the portuguese families has registered a positive evolution, especially throughout the second half of the 90’s, and was related among other factors, to the introduction of several measures and methodologies for intervention, playing a decisive role in the link and reinforcement of inclusion measures. This improvement is particularly visible at the level of the monetary component of the living conditions of the population.

In the region of the Algarve the proportion of income received by the richest 20% of the population in 2000 was 5.6 greater than that received by the poorest 20%. Considering the non monetary income component, this proportion decreased 0.5%.

In 2003, the average monthly salary and basic income paid to workers (full time and complete remuneration) was 850€ and 712€, respectively19. In comparitive terms, the workers In the Algarve region earned less, 692€ and 592€, respectively. If we compare the average salary to the basic hourly wage paid to most workers in the Algarve to the workers in Portugal, it can be concluded that the first still earn less: 4€/h and 3.44€/h as opposed to 4.8€/h and 4.07€/h20.

The portuguese workers were paid a higher monthly wage and basic income when compared with the total of foreign workers in the same profession, that is foreign workers earn less than the portuguese, except for those from North America and stateless21. In this context, the workers originating from Asia, Africa and South América are the most penalized.

In the Algarve Region, it was also noted that there was a difference in salary between portuguese workers and foreign residents. However, this difference in salary is not as accentuated when compared with the the results at national level22. In 2003, while the national workers earned a monthly wage of 705€ in the Algarve Region, the foreign workers in the same situation recieved 634€ (Europe), 574€ (South America), 569€ (Africans), 510€ (Central America), 450€ (Asia).

Poverty understood as a multidimensional phenomenon, requires being analyzed beyond family income, that is, it requires analyzing the deprivation of these families23. Thus, deprivation is defined as unmet basic needs24, around 18.7% of the portuguese families were living in poverty in 200125.

In 2004, the case studies developed in Greater Lisbon and in the Algarve Region (NUTS III)26 allowed to analize the level of deprivation of some of the families which resided in these areas, concluding that it was relatively higher in the Algarve (0.131) than in Greater Lisbon (0.116)27. The level of deprivation of the respondents also varied according to the nationality of its members, being slightly higher among the foreign respondents, with special emphasis in Greater Lisbon.

In 2004, the following categories contributed most to the deprivation indicator:28 ‘access to ‘health’, ‘housing conditions’ ‘social networks’ and access to ‘education and training’. Contrary to Greater Lisbon which presented a less significant level of deprivation in ‘transports’ and ‘household items’, while the Algarve revealed a level of deprivation similar to the level of ‘employment’ and ‘household’.

The ‘housing conditions’, ‘social networks’ and access to ‘education and training’ contributed significantly to the deprivation index of the portuguese families who responded residing in the Algarve Region, and was slightly higher for the foreign families29, except ‘access to health ’, which was quite high for the first group. In 2004, this last group showed a lower level of deprivation regarding ‘basic needs’, ‘household items’ and ‘employment’, while the foreign families revealed a lower level concerning ‘transports’ and ‘financial capability ’.

In 2004, among the total of the family respondents, those living in the Algarve were more vulnerable because their risk of deprivation30 stood at 18%, two percentage points above the risk of deprivation for families residing in Greater Lisbon (16.1%). It was noted that the foreign families were at greater risk of deprivation in comparison to the portuguese families: 30.3% in the region of the Algarve and 38.5% in Greater Lisbon, as opposed to 17% and 14.2%, respectively.

The risk of deprivation of the household respondents also varied considerably according to the housing scheme. In 2004, the respondent families who were renting a home (tenants) in both Regions showed a higher risk of deprivation, 28.6% in the Region of the Algarve and 20.5% in Greater Lisbon. In the Algarve Region the risk of deprivation also included rented homes or rent free as payment of salary (35.1%), usually higher than the rent value. It should be noted that the respondent owners were less exposed to the risk of deprivation, representing 13% of the regions analyzed.

In what refers to the nationality of the household respondents in 2004, it is noted that in the Algarve region, the foreign families who resided in rented homes or rent free as payment of salary were exposed to a higher risk of deprivation (50.0% and 60.0% respectively) than the portuguese families residing in the same region (23.3% and 32.3%, respectively).

The access to housing was indicated by the participants in the Mini-Fora, as one of the major constraints to integration in the Region. Apart from mentioning and enhancing the inexistence of descrimination in the rental market of the Region, and improvement in the simplification of accessing credit to purchase their private home, and the initiative to integrate imigrants in “Cost controlled housing projects” promoted by the Municipality of Faro, they still emphasized the following obstacles in this area:


  • Access to credit:

    • Restrictions when they hold a residence permit;

    • Available information unclear;

    • Requires two guarantors;

    • Higher interest rates than for national citizens;

    • Lack of trust from financial institutions;

  • Rent:

    • Higher rents;

    • Existence of lanlords not celebrating contracts.

In order to conclude, it should also be noted that the family dimension defines the context for some situations of deprivation. In 2004, the territories which were being analyzed enhanced that the more numerous household respondents (≥ 4 individuals), mainly the families of foreign origin were more exposed to deprivation than others.

The numerous household respondents showed a higher risk of deprivation in Greater Lisbon (32.1%) when compared to the Algarve (25.3%), while households composed of three members, 15.7%, experienced serious deprivation in relation to 10.8% of the portuguese families.



Access to Rights, resources, goods e services in the Algarve Region

Employment System

Portugal occupies a privileged situation in Europe regarding regional cohesion. In 2005, the dispersion of the employment rate stood at 3.3 as opposed to 11.9 and 10.9 in EU 25 or EU15, respectively31. However, significant differences persist in terms of the distribuition of sectors of activity in the country: the agriculture sector predominates In the Centre Region, the industry in the North Region, and services are mainly located in the Region of Lisbon and Tagus Valley and in the Algarve.

Between 2000 and 2005, similarly to the EU and to the Country, the Algarve registered a decrease in the number of employees in Agriculture, Siviculture and Fisheries (-3,5 pp.), in the Industry, Construction, Energy and Water (-0.4 pp.) and an increase in Services (+4.0 pp).32 In relative terms, the situation in the Region is considered more advantageous when compared to the national situation and to Europe, which has lesser weight in the terciary sector and greater weight in the primary and secondary sector. It should be noted that job creation in the service sector has compensated, in part, the loss of jobs in agriculture while for this period, the level of employment in the industry sector has been stable.

The entrepereneurial dynamics in the Region considered key elements of entrepreneurship are strongly marked by economic activities: accommodation, hotel and catering, civil construction, real estate, and services providing support to families and companies.

There has been an emphasized decrease in the population employed in primary activities reflecting its loss in the regional economy without prejudice of existing a volume of informal employment with some significance, specifically in the agro-rural activities and in artisanal fisheries. The component of informal employment constitutes Aastrong tendency in the regional economy, with consequences in the struture of the labour market, in the model for work organization in family run businesses, in the capacity to adjust to the cycle of activities with market demand and in the composition of the income available to families.

In more structural terms related to the regional employment system, the dynamism of the entrepreneurial demography nurtured by limited obstacles to the entry of several important activities is based on seeking low levels of qualification, on a strong professional mobility and on a reduced number of technical competences.

The evolution of the activity rate in the Region is overall positive. This rate is close to the national average and above the average for EU15 and EU25: In 2004, it was 59.8%, that is 2.20 percentage points (p.p) lower than national average (62.0%) and 3.20 p.p. higher when compared to the european average (56.6%)33.

The immigrant population has contributed significantly to the portuguese economy representing 6% of the active population34. This fact is particularly relevant in the Algarve, where the immigrants represented, according to the data in 2001,17.5%35 of the active population in the Region. Such a fact may be explained, in part, by the increase in tourism and civil construction in the last years.

The employment rate in the region between 2000 and 2005, has been slighlty lower than the national average and above the European Union’s. It grew 1.10 p.p, while the rates for Portugal and the European Union were practically unchanged. In 2004, the unemployment rate in the Algarve stood at 56.5%, in relation to Portugal 57.8% and 51.4% in the EU 2536.

Considering that the employed population was the same between 2000 and 2005, it can be said that the increase in the active popultation was the result of the umeployed population.

In 2001, the foreign populations occupied essentially three professional groups: unskilled workers, blue collar workers, craftsmen and similar crafts; service personnel and vendors. Only 20% of the foreign workers are not included in these three groups, thus concluding that the foreign population has more difficulty in accessing qualified sectors and professions and consequently, better pay37.

In the last decades, the evolution of unemployment in Portugal was characterised by a reduction between 1996 and 2000 (315 802), showing a progressive increase in the following years by reaching in 2005 one of its highest rates, 7.6% at national level and 6.2% in the Algarve region. It should be noted that the national and regional unemployment rates have been below UE25|1538 average.

Emphasing that for the Mainland, the number of unemployed registered between 2000 and 2005 increased 48.23%, corresponding to more than 152 313 unemployed (135 719 nationals and 16 594 foreigners). In the Algarve, apart from the figures recorded being inferior to the national average (representing in the same period between 3.3% and 3.7% of the total unemployed registered), and observing na identical evolution to the rest of the Country.There was an increase of unemployed around 47%, corresponding to more than 5 084 unemployed people (3 132 portuguese and 1 950 foreigners)39 when comparing December 2005 to the same month in 2000.

Regarding long term unemployment, there was an increase in the region between 2000 and 2004, following once again the tendency of the country, apart from the fact that the rates are lower than the national average and to EU/15 and EU/25. It should be noted that the proportion of long term unemployed in the Algarve recorded a significant increase from 2003 (26.9%) to 2004 (38.08%)40.

The strong seasonality characterizing the economic activity in the Algarve is reflected in the the number of people registered for employment, as well as, for nationals and foreigners. Similarly to the tendency observed for the Mainland, the number of unemployed is inferior in the months of June, July and August and higher in the months of November, December and January. However, the variation observed in the Algarve Region between August and December was more expressive than in Portugal: In 2005, the number of unemployed in the month of December in relation to August, showed a variation of 70.54%, in the Algarve and of 3%, in the Mainland41.

It should be noted that between 2000 and 2005 both in the Algarve and Portugal, that the tendency for seasonality decreased, which given the growing unemployment rates which enhanced the increase in long term unemployment. It can be said, that in relative terms, unemployment increased more in the Region during the summer months than in the winter indicating a lesser capacity seasonality has of absorbing employment.

In terms of the unemployed foreign workers registered in the IEFP of the Algarve, it increased fives time more between 2000 and 2005, 4 976 (2000) for 21 570 (2005), representing 15% of the unemployed population in December of 2005. During this period, there was an increase in the incidence rate of the unemployed population registered by the IEFP either in the Mainland, 2.4% (2000) and 4.7% (2005), or in the Algarve Region, 1.9% (2000) and 3.7% (2005)42, specifically in this last case originating from Germany, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde and Ukraine. It should be mentioned, that there was a decrease in the Region regarding the weight of the unemployed from the PALOP (Portuguese speaking African Countries and from the EU and an opposite movement of foreign workers coming from Easten Europe and from Brazil 43.

Analizing only 2005, it should be noted that almost all immigrants unemployed in the Algarve were from Russia followed by Angola, Brazil, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Moldavia and Romenia in that order. Adding that there were no unemployed people from China and that the number of unemployed englishpeople was not very expressive44.

Unemployment has been penalizing both the male and female population in the country and is common to all age groups, and in particular, among those between 25- 44 years.

Between 2000 and 2005, the majority of registered unemployed in the Employment Centres of the Algarve were women, 67% (2000) and 60% (2005), as Well as For the Mainland. The foreign women were more affected, 64% in 2000 and 69% in 2005, comparatively to the portuguese women, 60% (2000) and 66% (2005)45.

Regarding the age group differences, these are related to nationality. It is noted that the unemployed rate registered in the Employment Centre of the Algarve, in 2005, was higher concerning the young portuguese (16% as opposed to 9% of the young foreigners) than the foreign adults (91% in relation to 84% of the portuguese adults)46.

In terms of job placements in the labour market conducted by the IEFP in the Region from 2000 to 2005, it should be noted taht there was an increase in the evolution of job placements for foreign workers who were unemployed, 3% (149) in 2000 and 14% (655) in 2005, as opposed to the national population where the tendency was the opposite, 97% (5158) in 2000 and 86% (4076) in 200547. Mentioning that during the period analysed, that the increase in job placements, practically matched the increase in the number of unemployed. The migratory flow in the Region responded to the increase of job offers by accepting to take on unkilled work earning low wages were some of the variables explaining this situation.

The seasonality phenomenon in the Algarve and the Mainland is even more expressive when analyzing the Job placement rates. From 2000 to 2005, the number of Job placements in the Region reached a record high in the months of April and its lowest in the months of December, respectively. Mentioning that both for the Algarve and Portugal that there was a tendency for the seasonality phenomenon to slow down, once the number of Job placements decreased even more in the months of summer when compared to the Winter months.
In the period of 2000-2005, the foreigners with the highest percentage of Job placements in the labour market by the IEFP (5+ nationalities), originated from Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Ukraine and Romania, and as noted previously belonged to the largest foreign groups who were unemployed and registered in the Employment Centres.
Between 2000-2005, there was an increase in the evolution of Job placements for men (33%, 2000 and 42%, 2005) in the Region as opposed to the opposite sex (67% in 2000 and 58% in 2005). This gap between genders was, in 2000, more emphasized in the foreign population, 74% (F) and 26% (M), than in the portuguese popualtion, 67% (F) and 33% (M), being that in 2005, this situation was inverted: foreigners, 56% (F) and 44% (M); portuguese, 59% (F) and 41% (M)48.
When comparing the unemployed population by age group registered at the IEFP in the Algarve, it should be mentioned that between 2000-2005, young people (≤25 anos) were the group registering the highest percentage in Job placement in the labour market in comparison to adults (≥25 anos). In 2005, when comparing the national citizens to foreign adults, they were better integrated in the labour market, 89% in relation to 76%, inverted trend regarding the young foreigners, 11% as opposed to 24%49.
In summary, the following conclusions may be drawn in this adverse economic context: (i) the decrease in the number of Job placements was not very significant, especially, if the decrease in the number of job offers is considered; (ii) the Employment Centres in the Region during the period analyzed, seek to meet and invert the increase in the unemployment cycle, for the population in general; (iii) apart from not going beyond the total job placements of 6%, the number of foreign workers placed trebled between 2000 and 2005, which indicates an improvement in the access to these services by the foreign population.

Analizing the immigrants’ perceptions which participated in the Mini-Fora regarding the access and equality in the labour market of the Region, they mentioned that their living conditions had improved, especially, the Eastern European immigrants, said that this was due to them accessing the labour market. However, they emphasized the persistence of some inequalities and discriminatory factors in this area, namely:



  • Non payment of salaries;

  • Employers not celebrating work contracts;

  • Lack of Union support;

  • Work more daily hours than national citizens;

  • Earn wages regarding the nr.of hours worked, encouraging professional precariousness;

  • Earn lower salaries than the national citizens and quite often earning only the national minimum wage;

  • School education not adjusted to the type of profession. In fact, they only have access to unskilled work, not compatible with their professional/educational background;

  • Consider being the target of discrimination in employment.

Education and qualifications

Education50 is an inalienable human right which is free and baed on equal opportunity. The levels of education and qualification of national citizens and foreigners, throughout life are structuring elements either for the understanding of the poverty and social exclusion phenomena or for the inclusion of individuals and social groups in a vulnerable situation. The lower the qualification level, the greater the vulnerablities to unemployment and to precariousness with respective consequences in terms of life conditions51.

In 2001, the relative weight of the active population with a secondary or higher education in the Algarve Region was around 13%, while in the Mainland about 10%52. It is perceivable that the population employed possesses considerable deficits in school and professional qualifications, namely in tourist activities contributing to increase early school leaving and not encourageing investment in lifelong training.

The regional indicators on participation in lifelong training, in 2004, showed the differences existing between the Algarve Region as opposed to the participation recorded in the Mainland: 11.1 in every 1 000 active person between 25-64 years participated in these types of courses (Algarve) in relation to 245.3 in each 1 000 active persons between 25-54 years (Mainland)53.

The access to training courses was mentioned by the foreign population participating in Mini-Fora as being even more difficult for them.

Although, they recognized a slight improvement in the supply and access to training and Professional courses in the Region, namely the increase in night courses teaching portuguese to immigrants promoted by some local entities (for ex. MAPs or CIDEC) and that it was easier to access training courses, in particular, from CIDEC which only requested the presentation of the Diploma translated, nonetheless, they mentioned that there were still several obstacles persisting in this area:



  • Not very diversified Portuguese courses for foreigners;

  • Lack of information about state programmes with the possibility of studies/diploma recognition, for example, the Programme Portugal Welcomes;

  • Impossibility to attend training courses beacuse they possess higher education levels than required;

  • Dificulty in accessing training in the Employment and Vocational Training courses by compelling them, when enrolling to have with them a document recognizing their school education in the Country of Origin;

  • Dificulty in obtaing recogntion of their Professional studies and sometimes required to attend training periods in Lisbon which makes it impossible for the families. This difficulty has implications by limiting the access to vocational training courses;

  • Greater diversity in offering professional courses in Lisbon.

Some generic indicators allow to observe a relative structural lagging behind in the Region concerning education, that is: in 2001, the iliteracy rate was higher (10.4%) than in the Country (9,2%), as well as, school drop out and early school leaving, demonstrated by a set of high figures (22.9%). It should be noted, however, that Pre-school had already registered a very significant coverage (79.4%)54.

Concerning the young students in Portugal which completed at least secondary education (ISCED 3), rose from 71.2%, in 2002, to 71.5%, while in the Algarve region, these figures were lower for the same level of education, from 69.4% (2002) to 67.2% (2004)55.

More recent data (school year 2005/200656) from 458 escolas in the Algarve (public and private) since Kindergarten until different learning levels) reinforced this tendency in the Region. Apart from the fact that 69 155 students and 8 095 teachers were registered, the relative weight of the students and trainees enrolled in the Algarve region decreased in the last four years, in different training levels:


  • Basic education (1st/2nd/3rd level)- < 1%;

  • Secondary education - < 8,6%;

  • Higher education - < 7,8%;

  • On-going training for active population decreased between 5 to 10%, according to training priorities”57.

In the higher levels (ISCED 5-6), Portugal recorded stagnation of 18% (in 2002 and 2004), while in the Algarve these figures dercreased significantly valores from 14.6%, in 2002, to 5.8% in 200458.

It is important to mention that the lack of data referring to education and qualifications of the immigrant population, distributed by Region is obvious and quite often, prevents establishing comparisons with the population residing in the same territory.

The National Action Plan for Inclusion 2006-2008 sets as one of its priority, to overcome discrimination by reinforcing the integration of people with disability and immigrants and in the case of the latter, Education and Training essential to this diagnosis:


  • Immigrants are particularly vulnerable to factors such as poverty and social exclusion, due to among other reasons, to their low qualifications or when they possess higher ones they can not use them in the access to the labour market;

  • In the last decades, Portugal registered a significant increase in the foreign population with residência or legal stay, in 1995, there were 168 316, in 1999, 190 896 and, in 2004, reached 44 919 4597;

  • In 2001, there was a high percentage of immigrants from south América and Africa showing low school levels (basic education) in comparison to the ones of European origin, with higher levels of qualification (ensino secundário/ médio and higher education2).

In what concerns the student population (form 1st level BE to Secondary), The information available for the school period 2000-2001, allowed to observe that in the Mainland, the relative weight of the non-nationals was 3.8%, with predominance of the african origin (1.82%) in relation to those of european origin (1.56%), while in the Algarve region, the non national students represented 5.8%, with obvious predominance of Europeans (3,15%) in relation to the africans (1.47%)60.

The dropout of national and foreign students revealed a relative weight unfavourable to these latter. The proportion of some nationla students dropping out during basic and secondary education (school year 2000/2001) was 3.1% against 10% for foreign students. This difference increases with the transition from basic education to secondary education, where, in the school period 2000/2001, 42.6% of the foreign students were leaving school early against 13.2% of the national students61.

The existing data for the region of the Algarve are somewhat different but show similar trends to the national ones, from the discrepancies prevailing between the students enrolled at the beginning and at the end of the school year 2000/2001. starting with a global analysis, there was a significant decrease between the beginnning and the end of the school year analyzed corresponding to 2 000 students.

The level of education where greater difference exists between those enrolled at the beginning and at end of the year which remits to possible drop outs during the school period and/or failures is the Secondary Education one which registered less than 1 273 students that is, a decrease of 11% in relation to those enrolled at the beginnnig. However, at this level of education, the data is extremely penalizing for non national students (with a decrease of 17.8%) when compared to the national ones (which decreased 10.6% between the beginning and end of the year)62.

The perception of the participants in the Regional Mini-Fora on the access and equality in the portuguese educational system and schools lead to enouncing some of the positive and negative factors. Relating to the first, the participants emphasized the existence of Portuguese courses in schools for the immigrant children and that there was an improvement in the school books teaching portuguese, in particular, the existence of dictionaries (Uckraine/ Portuguese/ UKraine) and DVDs to support learning. However, they still identified persistent obstacles in the access and quality of their childrens’education highlighting the following:


  • Lack of educational support in public schools;

  • Dificulty students have in understanding the portuguese language, which limits their learning and adaptation to Education in Portugal.

  • Existence of some exclusion factors at school, which are only overcome after family intervention;

  • Frequent substitution of teachers in schools, factor of instability and adapatability both for the children and professionals;

  • Library schedules not adapted to school hours ;

  • Lack of free time activities in schools;

  • Dificulties in getting a scholarship;

  • Long time in obtaining diploma recognition and too burocratic.

Health

Over the last thirty years, there has been quite an improvement in the living conditions in Portugal, especially when analyzing some traditional factors such as mortality and life expectancy.

However, there are still shortcomings in relation to some basic indicators when comparing them to European averages such as the incidence of aids and tuberculosis, oral health, and the number of doctors and hospital beds per 1000 inhabitants. In 2002, Portugal had fewer doctors and hospital beds per 100 000 inhabitants corresponding to being below the EU15 average, in other terms: 325.5 doctors in relation to 356.3 in EU15, and 363.7 beds as opposed to 599.6 in EU15.

In 2004, there was around 3.3 doctors per 1000 inhabitants and the Algarve Region showed lower figures – between 2.1 to 3.2 doctors per 1000 inhabitants. In 2005, only 52,3%63 of the foreign residents were registered in the Health Centres of the Algarve Region.

The foreign population represented 11.3%64 of the total users registered in the Health Centres of the Region. In 2005, the total foreign users registered in the Health Centres of the Region, 45%65 foreigners with no family doctor and 1.74% did not choose to have one66, observing that this last option was very significant in the health Centres of Lagoa and S. Brás de Alportel.

If we compare the foreign population rate with or without family doctor by Health Centre, it is observed that, in Monchique, Castro Marim, Alcoutim, Aljezur, S. Brás de Alportel, Vila do Bispo and Vila Real de Santo António, the foreign population registered presented a family doctor rate close to 100%, as opposed to the Health Centres in Portimão (78.2%), Faro (64.2%), Olhão (49.8%), Loulé (45.1%), Lagoa (40.5%), Albufeira (47.9%), Lagos (34.5%), Tavira (30.5%) and Silves (27%)67.

In Portugal, the number of people with no family doctor, independently of their nationality, constitutes one of the major problems in the universal access to the public health system. In order to minimize this obstacle, more doctor consultation were assigned, thus revealing, the concern of this sector to overcome the difficulties at this level. In the Algarve Region, there was an annual percentage increase registered between 2000 and 2005 of the foreign population which attended these types of consultations, that is: 1.6% (2000); 2.8% (2002); and 4.9% (2005)68.

It should be noted that health consultations are more sought by adults to detriment of check-ups.

Regarding Hospital Emergencies, it should be mentioned that in 2005, 9.3% of the total hospital consultations were to foreigners living in the Region69. It should be noted that the increase in the number of consultations throughout the years has not been very significant in the Hospitals in the region. The foreign population using Hospital Emergency services come mainly from England, Brazil, Ukraine, Romania and Germany.

The Barlavento Algarvio Hospital is the hospital where most of the foreign community goes to é aquele que evidencia uma maior procura deste tipo de serviços por parte da comunidade estrangeira (10.73% in 2005). The ortho/traumatology cases related with occupational hazards are the more frequent causes which make this type of population resort to hospital emergency services.

Between 2000 and 2005 there was an important increase in the number of births to foreign mothers representing in 2005, 16% of the total of births. Analizing the origin of these women, according the 10+ nacionalidades, it was noted that during this period, the Brazilian women followed by the Ukrainian, Romanian, Moldavian, English, Angolan, Cape Verdian, Chinese and Germans were the foreign moms which most contributed in the last years to increasing the birth rate in the Algarve70.

However, it should be mentioned that many of these children are the result of unsupervised pregnancies and/or do not have the recommended medical follow-up during their first years of life.

Concerning the population’s Heath status, Portugal still presents some weak points in relation to some areas when comparing it to all of Europe. In 2003, there were about 37 cases of tuberculosis per 100 000 inhabitants in Portugal, in relation to 10.4 of EU15 and 7.8 cases of aids per 100 000 inhabitantes as opposed to 1.61 of EU1571.

In 2005, there were an average of 60 people infected with aids per 100 000 habitantes. Lisbon and Setubal were the districts with the highest number of people living with aids per 100 000 inhabitants (108 and 107, respectively), followed by the districts of Oporto and Faro (71 and 54, respectively)72.

Epidemiological data enhances the vulnerability of the foreign population to HIV/AIDs, noting that the proportion of new cases of foreigners infected with the disease is increasing in Portugal. A study elaborated in 2002 refers from the cases infected with HIV/AIDS (20975), 9.7% (2040) are foreigners, in particular, africans (83.18%)73.

In the Algarve Region from 2000 to 2005, 17274 immigrants were infected with HIV/AIDS, the vast majority being from portuguese speaking african countries – Cape Verde (259%), Angola (15.8%), Guinea-Bissau (14.4%) -, followed by Brasil (10.8%) and England (5.8%). On the other hand, in relation to the individuals notified with the disease and its stage, it was noted that in the Region, 51% of the african population was infected by AIDS, which pointed to a late diagnosis. To? The fact they were diagnosised late with the disease

The migration flows and social changes may be at the origin of the high incidence of the virus in certain communities, and therefore, their characteristics should be taken into account:


  • African - oldest; cultural factors which makes it difficult for them to adopt protective measures in relation to sex and not to inject drugs; recent african imigration which may already be infected, quite often illegal, does not speak the language and only uses health services in the case of a disabling disease or pregnancy because of difficulties they have in accessing or fear of deportation;

  • Eastern Europe – quite often illegal; with difficluty in accessing or fear of using the NHS; not yet infected or with non symptomatic or diagnosed infection; not very informed about HIV; with language difficulty; constituted mostly by healthy young adults with a high risk of being sexually contaminated.

In 2004, Portugal presented a high level of endemic stability concerning tuberculosis when comparing it to the rest of Europe, with cases of notified tuberculosis of 33.8 per one thousand inhabitants in 2004.75 Tuberculosis as an opportunistic disease among individuals infected with HIV/AIDS, it is one of the diseases which most affects the foreign population76.

The Algarve Region demonstrated that between 2002 and 2004 the tuberculosis incidence rate was higher than the national one, being that in 2004 the incidence rate for TB was 34.91 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants77. About 23% were foreigners from countries with a high prevalence rate of Tuberculosis78.

Portugal has registered a remarkable increase in illegal drug use. In the Alagarve Region, there has been a slight increase in the number of active users attending drug advisory centres, once that the number of users attending these centres rose from 2 296 in 2000 to 2 846 in 200579. However, the number of drug users attending their 1st consultation in these centres has decreased from 591 drug users in 2000 to 397 in 2005.

A study elaborated between 2002 and 2005 in, the Councils of Castro Marim, Loulé, Portimão, Albufeira, Vila Real de Santo António, Alcoutim, Faro, Olhão and Tavira, concluded that about 85% of the illegal drug users were portuguese, while 14.8% corresponded to the foreign population80.

Analizing the perception of immigrants on the access to the public health services, it should be noted that the Immigrant Community, in particular from Eastern Europe value the develpment in Portugal of the health system in specific areas such as psychiatry and services related to the treatment of different types of cancer and HIV/AIDs when comparing them to the services in their coutry origin. Highlighting the organization of several entities (for example ASMAL e a APPC), the quality and humanization of services related to mental patients.81
However, they identified some weak points in the access to the public health system emphazing that these services function poorly because of these main aspects:


  • Demand of a work contract to obtain the health card;

  • Inexistence of direct access to specialty consultation generating difficulties in public access;

  • Too long of a wait in obtaining a specialty consultation;

  • Dificulty to have a family doctor thus revealing that there were few doctors in the services;

  • Constant tendency of the family doctors to underestimates the symptoms mentioned by the users;

  • Long time doctor’s take in elaborating a diagnosis, while the disease is getting worse;

  • Long waiting hours at the emergency room of the Hospital;

  • Lack of dedication from the hospital doctors in the Region in relation to patients;

  • Lack of support to pregnant women;

  • Lack of quality in attendance.

Social Protection

Social protection has played an important role in improving the well-being of families. However, family households are still confronted to difficulties and new challeges arise, specifically from the difficulty to reconcile work with family life.

The guarantee of access and the qualification of the solutions and social services are fundamental in providing support to families, in particular, with children and highly dependent family members namely (children, elderly and disabled).

In 2001, the coverage rate of the solutions and social services providing support to children and young people and to the elderly population showed very low figures in relation to the national average (17.84% and 4.38%, respectively), in some of the councils in the region that is:

- Infrastructures and social services for children (nannies and child day care centres) – the rate of coverage was around 8.1 in the councils of Aljezur, Monchique and Vila do Bispo and between 8.1-15.8% in Loulé, São Brás de Alportel, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António.

- Infrastructures and social services providing support for the elderly – the rate of coverage was around 2.6% in the Concils of Castro Marim, Silves, Lagoa, Vila Real de Santo António, Tavira, Olhão and between 2.6-3.9% in Loulé, Albufeira and Vila do Bispo. It should be noted that some of these councils have a predominantly old population and were classified as ageing and economically depressed territories82.

In 2005, the number of active individuals registered by the Portuguese social security system corresponded to a total of 7 951 556 indivíduos83, from which 406 484 were foreign citizens (5%). Between 2000 and 2005, there was a remarkable increase in the number of foreign individuals registered by Social Security – from 1.8% (7 130 620, 2000) to 5.1% (7 951 556, 2005).

In the Algarve, in 2005, the number of active individuals registered by Social Security were 335 550 individuals, corresponding to 4% of the total of individuals registered by Social Security. About 14% (47 610) were foreigners.

Similarly to the country, between 2000 and 2005, there was a significant increase in the number of people registered by Social Security in the Region, in particular of foreign citizens – 5.2% (2000), 10.8 (2001), 11.7% (2003), 13.1% (2004) and 14.2% (2005), emphasing the population from Ukraine, Brazil and Moldova.

In 2005, the citizens originating from Ukraine (21%), Brazil (15%), Moldavia (8%), Romania and United Kingdom (7% respectively) were the ones with greatest weight regarding the number of registrations by the Algarve Social Security, especially the male gender (62.9%).

Comparing the number of nationals to the foreign population registered by Social Security by gender, there was a significant difference between the genders of the foreign population: from the total of portuguese registered in 2005, 51.9% were women and 48.1% men, as opposed to the total of foreign citizens, 37.1% women and 62.9% men. Comparing the Brazilians and English registered by the Algarve Social Security, the Eastern European Countries are the ones with the greatest differences in terms of distribution by gender: Moldavia (78% male 22% female); Ukraine (71% male and 29% female); Romania (68% male and 32% female).

Establishing comparisons between nationals and foreigners registered by the Social Security in the Region, in 2005, according to age group, also it should be noted that there are some differences, that is:



  • Despite the vast majority of the portuguese and foreigners registered being between 20-60 years, these latter took on a greater expression in this age group - 74.1% (portuguese) and 94.8% (foreigners);

  • The portuguese citizens under 20 years were the ones more registered by Social Security – 10,1% in relation to 2.3% -, as well as those over 60 years – 15.9% as opposed to 2.9%.

It should be noted that differences exist between portuguese citizens and foreigners, and also among foreign communties after carrying out a finer anlysis by observing the data regarding the social benefits84.

In December 2005, there were 303 306 beneficiaries receiving Unemployment benefits in the country representing 4% of foreigners. In the Algarve Region, there were 8 967 recipients of which 13% were foreigners.

The monthly variation of the number of Unemployment Beneficiaries in the region during 2005, followed the seasonality characterizing the region. While for the the months of July and October, there was a slight decrease in the percentage of beneficiaries receiving thiV benefit either portuguese or foreign born thus noting stabilization, in particular regarding the portuguese citizens. In 2005, among the total citizens receiving this type of benefit in the Region: brazilians (19.9%), ukranians, (23.8%), followed by angolans (8.5%), moldavians (6.5%) and russians (4.9%).

In December 2005, there were 116 553 recepients receiving sick leave in, among which 3% were foreigners. In the Algarve during the same months there was a total of 3 160 recepients receiving this benefit, among 10% were foreigners – especially from Ukraine (21.4%), Brazil (11.5%), Angola (11,2%), Moldavia (7,9%) and Romania (7.6%)85.

In 2005, about 8 605 were benefitting from Maternity Leave in the country, 7% were foreigners. In the Algarve Region, using the same month analyzed, there was a total of 322 beneficiaries among which 16.5% were foreigners. This figure is related with the increase in the number of births of this population which has been recorded in the Region.

It should be noted that in 2006, the Portuguese state granted children and young people with valid stay permits in the national territory or respective extention86 to have access to these benefits which until then only covered foreign citizens with a valid stay permit.87 Along these lines an increase in the number of beneficiaries is expected, for example receiving maternity leave.

In 2005, there were about 202 101 individuals receiving the minimum social Integration Income (SII)88 in the country, representing 98.3% of the portuguese and foreigners 1.7%. In the Algarve Region, there were 10 668 receiving the sII, among 1.9% were foreigners. Among the total requests for the sII assessed by the Social Secuirty Centre of Faro in 2005, registered a rate of 46.5% accepted requests and 53.6% unaccepted requests. The portuguese citizens were those with more accepted requests (46.5%) in comparison to foreigners (43.7%).

It should be noted that a small percentage of the foreign population is requesting this type of benefit, in spite of an increase in the number of people seeking it when considering the deprivation index of the foreign population referred to and the type of benefit.

Similarly to what occurs in the country, the vast majority of the sII beneficiaries in the Region were women in 2005, 52.9% portuguese and 59.1%, foreign citizens as opposed to 47.1% and 40.9% men respectively. Comparing the differences between the portuguese population and the foreigners in terms of age, there was a higher percentage of foreign beneficiaries? Recipients between 40-60 years receiving the SII (33.7% in relation to 26.5%), while in percentage points the portuguese population under 20 years (44% an 31.1%) and over 60 years (12.4% in relation to 9.1%) had greater importance.

According to a survey conducted in 2004 regarding Social Action Attendance carried out in the CDSS of Faro73 to individuals and migrant families and in an asylum situation concluding from a universe of individuals attended, most: were men (63%); between 30 - 40 years (43%); were unemployed (74%); in an irregular situation in the country (46%). The individuals originating from Germany and Brazil were the ones using these services more often, followed by those coming from the PALOP (in particular, from Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau) and Eastern Europe (Romania and Ukraine). The economic shortcomings, the housing precariousness and unemployment were the main problems indicated when seeking these services. The benefits granted were especially for food and transportation.

Also in this area, the immigrants participating in the mini-fora showed a negative perception, especially in the access and guaranteeing of rights.

For example, the Ukranian participants mentioned that despite valueing the possibility to access pensions because of paying the Portuguese Social Security, nonetheless considered it being a factor of discrimination that the countries of origin paid for their retirement, as well as not taking into account the years worked and payments made to social security in Portugal89.

Other constrainsts were emphasized by the immigrants who participated in the Mini-Fora in the access to rights and Social Protection services:


  • Poor functioning of the Social Security supervizing services, once that problems related to the non payment of compulsory installments by the employer persist;

  • Difficulty in obtaining a place for children in Day Care and Pre-school and in social services, in particular, child care centres;

  • Expensive monthly fees for Day Care Centres for children;

  • Incompatibility of the timetables of the day care Centres for children with Professional life, specially when these Centres close in August;

  • Difficulty in getting family benefits for immigrant children born in Portugal.

  • Lack of information and conditions that the immigrant population can access related to benefits and existing programmes, which makes them unaware of the several measures available.

  • Difficulty to access information on their rights regarding Social Protection.






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