Complaints of ethnic and racial discrimination in Portugal skyrocketed in 2018, up 93.3% over the previous year.
Reports of xenophobia against Brazilians—the largest immigrant community in the country— increased even more: 150% in 12 months.
The numbers come from a recent report by the Commission for Equality and against Racial Discrimination (CICDR), an organization that works to prevent and fight against discriminatory practices in Portugal.
According to the report, last year there were 45 registered complaints of xenophobia with Brazilians as the target. In 2017 there were 18.
The most recent data from Portugual's Border and Immigrant Services (SEF) shows that the number of Brazilian living legally in Portugal increased 5.1% in 2017, the highest level since 2010 when almost 120 thousand Brazilians were living in the country.
In 2016, there were 81,251 Brazilians in Portugal and this increased to 85,426 the following year—data from 2018 is not yet available.
The number of Brazilians in Portugal is probably much higher as the number above does not include those in an irregular situation or those who have dual citizenship.
The report shows that xenophobia against Brazilians is the third leading cause of discrimination in Portugal, making up 13% of reports. First are discriminatory acts against gypsies, with 21.4% of cases, followed by reports of racism, with 17.3%.
In Portugal, unlike Brazil, racism is not a crime, but rather a misdemeanor, a less severe occurrence, which provides for lighter penalties like fines.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon