The CICDR (Commission for Equality and Against Racial Discrimination) was established by the Law No. 134/99, of 28 August, which prohibited discrimination in the exercise of rights for reasons of skin color, nationality or ethnic origin. This law aims to prevent and prohibit racial discrimination in all its forms, as well as sanctioning the practice by any person of acts of violation, denial or conditioning of the practice of economic, social or cultural rights, motivated by that person’s belonging to a particular color, nationality or ethnic origin.
Under article 5 of Law 134/99, of 28 August, it is the CICDR’s duty to monitor the implementation of this law and to:
- Collect all information related to the practice of discriminatory acts and the application of the respective penalties;
- Recommend the adoption of the law or administrative measures it deems appropriate to prevent the practice of discrimination based on color, nationality or ethnic origin;
- Promote studies and research on discriminatory practices;
- Prepare and publicize an annual report on the situation of equality and discrimination in Portugal.
The CICDR meets periodically every three months and its President is, inherently, the High Commission for Migration, composed by the following entities:
- Two representatives elected by the Parliament;
- Two representatives of the Government;
- Two representatives of immigrant associations;
- Two representatives of anti-racist associations;
- Two representatives of Trade Unions;
- Two representatives of Employers' Associations;
- Two representatives of the Defense of Human Rights Associations;
- Three public figures appointed by the other members.
The CICDR has a Permanent Commission (PC), whose main responsibility is to decide, prior to the High Commissioner's decision regarding the application of sanctions and respective fines and / or corresponding sanctions.
Any complaints that fall within the object of Law 18/2004 of 11 May (and the Law 134/99 of 28 August), may be submitted to the CICDR own, the ACM (High Comission for Migration), or the Government which has member in charge of the area of equality and ethnic minorities or Inspection General competent in the matter.
By Decree 251/2002 of 22 November (Article 3), the CICDR joined the structure of the then designated High Commission for Immigration and Ethnic Minorities - ACIME.
In 2007, it started being coordinated by ACIDI, following the DL 167/2006 of 27 October, which resulted from the merger of ACIME, the technical support structure to coordinate the Programa Escolhas, the structure of the Mission for Dialogue with Religions and the Secretariat Among Cultures.
Currently, CICDR receives logistical support of the High Commission for Migration (ACM), through Decree-Law No. 31/2014, of February 27, paragraph I) of Article 3 no. 2), which attaches to the ACM power to become aware of facts indicating the occurrence of discriminatory practice, as well with responsibility for coordinating its operation.