In 2019, the Ombudsman received 51,313 requests through the various channels available to citizens (6.6% more than in 2018), and 9823 complaint procedures were opened, representing an increase of 5% in relation to 2018. Compared with 2017, the growth in new complaint procedures is 26%; taking 2016 as a reference, the increase is 42%.
In 2019, therefore, the activity indicators returned to be the highest in the history of this independent state body, created in 1975 to defend people who feel harmed by unjust or illegal acts of the administration or other public powers or who see their fundamental rights violated.
In Portugal, the Ombudsman is also a National Human Rights Institution, and is responsible for promoting and defending human rights and ensuring that the Portuguese State complies with the international conventions that it has signed in this field. In 2019, the Ombudsman received Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and presented, in this capacity, alternative reports to the international bodies of the United Nations on respect for the rights of the child, on torture and inhuman and degrading treatment, and also on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Within the scope of the activity of the Ombudsman as the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture and Degrading Treatment (MNP), which completed six years of existence in 2019, re-evaluation of the country's prison establishments was practically concluded. Some visits were also made to police detention sites. In total, in 2019, the MNP visited 45 places of detention without prior notice, three more than in 2018, and also increased the average duration of visits.
Source: Provedor de Justiça