Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 September 2014, 10:08 GMT

2011 Trafficking in Persons Report - Luxembourg

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 27 June 2011
Cite as United States Department of State, 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report - Luxembourg, 27 June 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e12ee6627.html [accessed 16 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Luxembourg (Tier 1)

Luxembourg is a destination country for women from Africa (primarily Nigeria) as well as Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, France, and Belgium who are subjected to forced prostitution. Authorities report that forced labor among foreign migrants is likely also a hidden problem. According to local experts, unaccompanied children who are asylum seekers or refugees and without legal status are particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Adult victims of sex trafficking in Luxembourg are sometimes recruited by agents in their home countries for work in Luxembourg's cabarets, and subsequently forced into prostitution. According to a 2010 media report, women in prostitution in Luxembourg are often controlled by pimps and some of these women are likely trafficking victims; the majority of women in street prostitution are Nigerian. According to a 2010 ECPAT report, exploitation of children in Luxembourg primarily involves prostitution through illegal escort services, and in hotels, parked cars, private houses, and in illegal private clubs in the country.

The Government of Luxembourg fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. During the year, the government prosecuted and convicted four trafficking offenders and referred identified trafficking victims for basic services. The government, however, failed to fully implement a March 2009 law to formalize specialized and comprehensive assistance for trafficking victims and it did not implement proactive identification and referral procedures, a standing deficiency in Luxembourg.

Recommendations for Luxembourg: Vigorously prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders; establish formal procedures to proactively identify victims among vulnerable groups, such as women in the commercial sex trade and undocumented migrants; finalize the subordinate legislation for the March 2009 protection law to codify and improve assistance to victims to move towards a more victim-centered approach; formalize the role of NGOs and others in the identification process and continue to fund them to provide comprehensive assistance to all trafficking victims, including victims of forced labor, as well as child and male victims; and re-launch an awareness campaign similar to the 2008 campaign by the Ministry of Equal Opportunity to educate authorities and the general public about trafficking.

Prosecution

The Luxembourg government sustained its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2010. Luxembourg prohibits all forms of trafficking through Article 382 of the 2009 Law on Trafficking in Human Beings, which prescribes penalties for convicted offenders ranging from three to 10 years' imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Under this article, courts can sentence offenders below the prescribed minimum sentence of three years' imprisonment. The government prosecuted and convicted four trafficking offenders in 2010, compared with six from the previous year. Sentences imposed on these traffickers were prison terms of nine months, 15 months, three years, and four years; two Albanian men received the latter three and four year sentences. Between April 2010 and February 2011, the government convicted and sentenced a Belgian trafficking offender to nine months' imprisonment after finding him guilty of subjecting five victims of Belgian and French origin to forced prostitution in a massage parlor. Also, a Luxembourg court sentenced a French trafficking offender to 15 months' imprisonment for the forced prostitution of 14 Brazilian women. The government reported four ongoing international anti-trafficking investigations in 2011. There were no reports of the government investigating, prosecuting, convicting, or sentencing public officials for trafficking complicity in 2010.

Protection

The Government of Luxembourg demonstrated sustained efforts to identify and protect trafficking victims and made some tangible improvements in 2010. Although the government adopted a law to codify victim identification and referral procedures and comprehensive assistance for trafficking victims in March 2009, it has yet to pass subordinate legislation to begin implementing a formalized referral process. The government did not adopt formal procedures for government personnel to use in the proactive identification of victims; this remained a problem. Although law enforcement officials reported strict controls over the prostitution sector in the country, the vice-squad responsible for these controls assisted police in identifying 21 victims of sex trafficking in 2010, the same number it identified in 2009.

The government reported three out of 21 identified victims took advantage of a government-offered reflection period – during which they could decide whether to cooperate with authorities – and three were granted temporary residency permits. One victim was imprisoned for drug trafficking. According to a recent NGO report, police were the only authorities permitted to carry out formal victim identification. Also, the police relied primarily on self-identification by the victims rather than their own proactive measures. The government continued to fund two NGOs providing services for women in distress, including adult female trafficking victims. However, during the reporting period, NGOs could not benefit from the assistance system established by the March 2009 protection law to provide specialized care for potential and identified trafficking victims, which first requires parliamentary approval of the government's implementing regulation of the 2009 law. According to a 2010 ECPAT report, Luxembourg did not have a concrete set of measures in place to deal with trafficked children in Luxembourg. There were no specialized services or shelters available specifically for child victims. The government reported, however, that it identified a planned response to provide child victims with appropriate care. Authorities have yet to identify a child victim of trafficking in Luxembourg.

The government reportedly encouraged victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders; however, no victims assisted in the prosecution of their traffickers in 2010, the same as in 2009. The government has a stated policy of ensuring that victims are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked; it was unclear whether all women in prostitution who were detained for being in the country illegally were checked for trafficking indicators. In January 2010, the government signed an agreement with IOM to ensure the responsible repatriation of victims; three victims were reported to be repatriated under this agreement.

Prevention

The government made limited progress in its anti-trafficking prevention efforts in 2010. According to a local expert, authorities in Luxembourg have only recently begun acknowledging the problem of human trafficking within the country, and the general public is not aware of its existence as an issue of importance. The government has not adopted a national action plan on trafficking, and it did not transparently report on its anti-trafficking efforts during the year. The government did not develop or implement a nation-wide campaign to raise general awareness about trafficking, or to reduce demand for forced labor, though it included trafficking in a national gender equality plan which aimed to implement a human trafficking monitoring system. ECPAT continued to implement a campaign to raise awareness about child sex tourism and child prostitution that targeted potential abusers as well as to raise general awareness about these issues. The government did not report any child sex tourism prosecutions or prevention efforts during the reporting period.

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