Statement by Ambassador Jorge Lobo de Mesquita, Permanent Representative of Portugal to the OSCE:
Portugal fully aligns with the statement made by the European Union, but I would like to add some national remarks.
Gender based violence in the OSCE area has a devastating effect on the lives of the persons affected. The fight against domestic violence and all forms of violence against Women and Girls is a major priority for the Portuguese Government and engages all sectors of national administration, civil society and non-governmental organizations. This plight expresses in many forms and cuts across generations, cultural and class boundaries.
Preliminary figures on domestic violence collected by our authorities appoint to 33 people murdered in this current year, including 25 women, 1 child and 7 men. Data from a civil society platform also points out another dimension of this tragedy – 45 children were left orphan this year. Public awareness and action from all the spectrum of society is critical to address this scourge.
We stress the importance of a comprehensive approach in tackling this problem, including through combined efforts by the security forces, judiciary system, educational and social institutions and the civil society in supporting and monitoring of domestic violence with particular focus on its victims and their protection.
The Portuguese authorities consider the elimination of violence against women a matter of utmost national priority.
I thank you."