Portugal actively monitors issues related to the situation of human rights and to humanitarian affairs, and even takes part in relevant international organisations. It should be noted that Portugal has ratified the most significant international legal instruments for the defence of human rights.
Human rights issues addressed within the United Nations are closely followed. Of note is Portugal's participation in the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC). Portugal is a member of this body for the 2015-2017 three-year period. In this context, highlight goes to the presentation of resolutions at Portugal's initiative, in particular on the "Question of realisation in all countries of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights", "Right to Education" and "Mental Health and Human Rights". The work of the 3rd Committee of the United Nations General Assembly is also followed, as are human rights issues within the scope of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). We also address inquiries and requests for information from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and attend the meetings of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Portugal is also engaged in issues related to the Council of Europe and participates in thematic working groups and in international conferences promoted by it, organising visits of the bodies of its treaties to Portugal and actively promoting the North-South Centre.
At the national level, the Executive Secretariat of the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH), chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the person of the Secretary of State for Cooperation and Foreign Affairs, is ensured by the Directorate of Multilateral Political Organisations.