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In July 2003, as the result of a process of reflecting on and discussing the need to promote an integrated approach to the phenomena of inequality and social discrimination and the importance of raising public awareness in this area, the outlines were sketched out for what was to become the Anti-Discrimination Resource Centre.


The objectives of this Resource Centre, which brings together knowledge from the fields of human and social sciences, legislation, edition, information technology and communication, are to build an independent meeting and publishing space concerned with the problems of social discrimination from an integrated perspective and to contribute to the understanding, monitoring and public awareness of social discrimination phenomena in Portugal. The main structuring axes of this project are as follows:

Axe 1 – Scientific disclosure: the contribution of social and human sciences
Axe 2 – Cohesion and social integration: the need for monitoring
Axe 3 – Social intervention: public awareness and action-research

To make the most of the knowledge acquired and its insertion in information and collaboration networks with other organisations – namely other research centres and researchers who study these subjects, local and central public administration organisations, and non-governmental organisations who operate in the areas in question – the Anti-Discrimination Resource Centre seeks to:

  • Encourage the production and publication of content of public interest of a cultural, scientific, educational, training and citizenship nature on the subject of social discrimination, in Portuguese language and digital format on the Internet;
  • Publish knowledge on social discrimination in the field of social and human science;
  • Strengthen the analysis and study of discrimination phenomena in Portugal;
  • Share and spread information on good practices, programmes, networks and initiatives concerned with fighting discrimination, linking up with other initiatives on a European and international level;
  • Improve understanding and make people more aware of discrimination issues and problems in Portugal and to equip social actors with the skills to defend people’s fundamental rights.


The first phase of the project development took place in 2006/2007, with the public presentation of the Anti-Discrimination Resource Centre website in September 2007. In this first phase, the project is concentrated on the following six main areas:

  • Special needs and empowerment
  • Age and life cycles
  • Sexual identity and orientation
  • Ethnic origin and nationality
  • Social gender relations
  • Religion, beliefs and laicity

In December 2004, the Anti-Discrimination Resource Centre team took part in the public consultation launched by the European Commission on the creation of a Fundamental Rights Agency, following the decision to widen the mandate of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), in a process aimed at sounding out, on a preferential basic, non-governmental human rights protection organisations and people involved in the development of the protection of fundamental rights in the European Union. The document presented, which is a non-exhaustive and open reflection on this issue, is available here.


With the publishing of information on matters of social discrimination and public awareness being the main structural features, in October 2003 a candidature was presented in the context of the Broad Band Contents measure of the Information Society Operating Programme (POSI) – currently called the Knowledge Society Operating Programme (POS_Conhecimento). As a result of this candidature, part of the Anti-Discrimination Resource Centre’s Internet project joint-financing was approved in June 2004 and later, in May 2005, was ratified under the Knowledge Society Operating Programme framework (source nº 678/2.2/NRE).


With a view to promoting the sharing of experiences, the exchanging of information and discussions on the problems of  people with special needs in Portugal, in March 2006 a cooperation agreement was signed between Númena and the Associação Portuguesa de Deficientes [Portuguese Association of Disabled People] (APD).

Cooperation agreement between Númena and the APD

Protocolo de cooperação entre a Númena e a APD


Tiago Ralha

Isabel Freitas
Editorial coordination

CONSULTING (2003-2008)

Bruno Peixe Dias
Area consultant: ethnic origin and nationality; religion, beliefs and laicity

Edite Rosário
Area consultant: ethnic origin and nationality; inter-cultural education

Eduardo Botelho
Sociologist. Master’s degree in educational sociology (FCSH/UNL)
Member of the Confederação Nacional dos Organismos de Deficientes [National Federation of Organisations for the Handicapped] (CNOD)
Area consultant: Internet accessibility for citizens with special needs

Isabel Baptista
Sociologist. Master’s degree in demographics and sociology of population (ISCTE)
Management member of the Associação Portuguesa de Demografia [Portuguese Demographics Association].
Area consultant: age and life cycles, sociology of population

Joana Azevedo
Sociologist. Doctorate from La Sapienza University (Italy)
Area consultant: religion, beliefs and laicity

João Louçã
Anthropologist. Post-graduate in human ecology and contemporary social problems (FCSH/UNL)
Area consultant: expression and social representation of illness; special needs and skills

Mónica Catarino
Area consultant: anti-discrimination legislation and legal procedures

Samanta Velho
Sociologist. Degree in sociology (FCSH/UNL)
Area consultant: social relations between genders

Sérgio Vitorino
Journalist. Degree in communication sciences (FCSH/UNL)
Member of the administration council of the “Université d'été
Euroméditerranéenne des Homosexualités” (UEEH)
Area consultant: sexual identity and orientation; discrimination in the media

Sónia Cardoso
Sociologist. Currently taking a doctorate in demographics and population sociology (ISCTE)
Lecturer in “ISCTE” sociology department.  Management member of the “Associação Portuguesa de Demografia” (Portuguese Demographics Association
Area consultant: age and life cycles, demographic analysis

Tiago Santos  
Area consultant: statistical information, opinion polls and analysis of social science data; religion, beliefs and laicity.

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