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Bio notes

Human Rights today: Building Hope

29 June - 3 July, 2020, CES | Lisbon (Picoas Plaza | Rua Viriato, lojas 117 e 118)


Maria Virgínia Brás Gomes was Born in Goa, India. Member of UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights since 2004. From 2008 to 2010 she served as Vice-chair of the Committee, from 2012 to 2014 as Rapporteur and from 2017 to 2018 as Chair. She was co-rapporteur for the Committee’s General Comments nº 19, on the right to social security, and nº 23, on the right to just and favourable conditions of work.

She works as Senior social policy adviser in the Ministry of Employment, Solidarity and Social Security of Portugal and is Chair of the Board of the Portuguese UNICEF Committee.  She is also a Distinguished Guest Lecturer in the LLM Program in Intercultural Human Rights at the St. Thomas University School of Law (2018); Invited expert at the School of Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University / College of Asia & the Pacific (2015); Faculty member of the Leadership Institute in Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2011 to 2015). She has participated in a number of national and international conferences on economic, social and cultural rights, social security, and sustainable development, and conducted training in treaty body reporting and on human rights in Africa, Asia and Europe, on behalf of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Associação Renovar a Mouraria was created in 2008 by a group of residents with the aim to revitalise the historical neighbourhood of Mouraria located in the centre of Lisbon. This is a non-profit private organisation with public utility status.The Associação Renovar a Mouraria promotes a wide array of activities with the major goal to strengthen the social inclusion of various communities by fostering cultural interaction and mutual support. It undertakes its activities mainly at the Communitarian House in Mouraria, a former derelict building which was thoroughly revitalised. Teaching Portuguese as a foreign language for immigrants, literacy education, study support for children and youngsters, legal support services, traditional Chinese medicine or the solidarity hairdresser are its leading community development projects.  However, the scope of activity of this Association goes much beyond the walls of the Communitarian House, with projects such as the community newspaper Rosa Maria, guided tours with local national and immigrant tour guides (Migrantour) and the Atelier Ideal, which aims at improving the image and communication of local trade.


Maria Lúcia Amaral, The Ombudsperson
(Since November 2017) was born in Angola. She is a Law Professor in the Faculty of Law of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and was a Justice of the Constitutional Court between April 2007 and July 2016. She dedicated her academic life to the study and teaching of Public Law, especially Constitutional Law. She is an author of studies in this domain and a member of several international scientific associations. Maria Lúcia Amaral was elected, by the Parliament, as the Portuguese Ombudsman on October 20th 2017 and took office on November 2nd the same year.


Ana Rita Gil
has graduated in Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra (2003), where she completed a postgraduate degree in Child Protection (2005). She holds PhD in Law, awarded by the New University of Lisbon in 2016, with a thesis on Human Rights of Immigrants. She works in the areas of Human and Fundamental Rights, in particular Migrants, Refugees and Children, and is the author of scientific works published in Portugal and abroad. She is Professor of the Masters in Law at New University of Lisbon, and in the Faculty of Law of the Portuguese Catholic University. She was Advisor to the Judges’ Office of the Constitutional Court (2010-2018).


Aljube Museum - Resistance and Freedom
is dedicated to the history and memory of the fight against the dictatorship and the recognition of resistance in favour of freedom and democracy in Portugal. It is a musealised site and a historical museum that intends to fill a gap in the Portuguese museological fabric, by projecting the appreciation of the memory of the fight against the dictatorship onto the construction of an enlightened and responsible citizenship, and by taking on the struggle against the exonerating and, often, complicit silencing of the dictatorial regime that governed the country between 1926 and 1974.


Luís Farinha is the Director of the Aljube Museum Resistance and Freedom and a researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History (FCSH-UNL).

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Compete 2020 FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia POVT - Programa Operacional Temático Valorização do Território Universidade de Coimbra