Last Updated: Monday, 20 October 2014, 15:44 GMT

2012 Trafficking in Persons Report - Luxembourg

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 19 June 2012
Cite as United States Department of State, 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report - Luxembourg, 19 June 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4fe30cb3c.html [accessed 21 October 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 men, women, and children from Nigeria and other African countries, as well as Estonia, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, France, and Belgium who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor, including forced criminal activities. According to local experts, unaccompanied and undocumented children who are asylum seekers or refugees are particularly vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation. Adult victims of sex trafficking in Luxembourg can be recruited by agents in their home countries for work in Luxembourg's cabarets and subsequently forced into prostitution in cabarets, private apartments, and in street prostitution. Forced labor, sometimes involving Chinese men, women, and children, occurs in sectors including construction and restaurants. According to past media reports, 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 country experts, traffickers utilized non-physical coercion to control victims in prostitution and to operate within the country's legal prostitution regime and evade law enforcement. According to a report issued by ECPAT, the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Luxembourg primarily involves prostitution through illegal escort services, and in hotels, parked cars, private houses, and illegal private clubs in the country.

The Government of Luxembourg fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government increased its detection of forced labor in 2011 and, for the first time, identified victims of this form of trafficking in the country. While the government prosecuted and convicted other trafficking offenders during the year, courts held only one trafficking offender accountable with actual jail time in 2011. The government sustained its efforts to protect trafficking victims, but it has yet to address a long-standing deficiency by formalizing and implementing comprehensive protections for trafficking victims, including proactive national-level identification procedures.

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 implementation regulations for the March 2009 protection law – that would assist in implementing a more victim-centered approach – to codify and improve assistance to victims; formalize the role of NGOs and others in the identification process and fund them to provide comprehensive assistance to all trafficking victims, including victims of forced labor, child victims, and male victims; and implement an awareness campaign aimed at demand reduction to educate authorities and the general public about sex trafficking and its links with prostitution, as well as the existence of forced labor in Luxembourg.

Prosecution

The Luxembourg government continued to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenders in 2011. 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 statute, courts can sentence offenders below the prescribed minimum sentence of three years' imprisonment. During the year, the government did not initiate any new prosecutions for trafficking and sentenced only one trafficking offender to jail time. It continued its prosecutions of six trafficking offenders initiated in the previous year, resulting in one acquittal and the conviction of four offenders, the same number convicted in 2010. Only one convicted offender received a sentence that was not suspended during the reporting period; a court sentenced a Brazilian offender to five years' imprisonment for coercing three Brazilian women into prostitution after promising them jobs as waitresses or nurses in Luxembourg. The remaining convicted offenders, sentenced to prison terms of nine months, 15 months, and two years, received suspended sentences and thus served no time in jail. In July 2011, the government enacted amendments to its Article 375 that increased penalties for the "pimping of children in prostitution" from two to five years' imprisonment if the victim is below the age of 16. However, the government has yet to identify a child victim of sex trafficking in Luxembourg or initiate a criminal prosecution for this offense. The government failed to initiate, conduct, or participate in any anti-trafficking law enforcement training in 2011. There were no reports of the government investigating, prosecuting, convicting, or sentencing public officials for trafficking complicity.

Protection

The Government of Luxembourg sustained its efforts to protect trafficking victims in 2011. The government has yet to implement a March 2009 law that codifies procedures for the identification, referral, and provision of comprehensive assistance to trafficking victims; nor has it adopted systematic procedures for the proactive identification of victims. The government's vice squad did not employ any guidelines or procedures to proactively identify victims among women in prostitution in Luxembourg's legalized or illegal sex trade. According to a 2010 NGO report, the police relied primarily on self-identification by the victims rather than their own proactive measures. Furthermore, police were the only authorities permitted to carry out formal victim identification. The government reported that all of the 25 trafficking victims it identified subsequently cooperated in the investigation of their traffickers; however, only three of these 25 victims officially received the government-offered recovery and reflection period of 90 days. The government did not confirm whether any victims received temporary residency permits in 2011, whereas it had reported that three victims were provided with these permits in 2010. Most victim cooperation occurred immediately after arrest or in a post-raid environment. The government identified two Chinese child victims subjected to forced labor in restaurants in 2011.

The government continued to fund two NGOs providing services for women in distress, including adult female trafficking victims. However, because parliament had not approved implementing regulations for the 2009 protection law, NGOs were unable to benefit from the assistance system that law established, which would provide specialized care to potential and confirmed trafficking victims. The government did not provide or fund specialized services or shelters for child victims of trafficking. The government retained 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 the government attempted to identify trafficking victims among all women found in vulnerable groups, such as those in prostitution or those detained as undocumented migrants in the country.

Prevention

The government took few concrete steps to proactively address its trafficking problem through public awareness activities during the year. The government did not initiate or contribute to the development of any anti-trafficking prevention efforts in 2011. Local experts previously noted that authorities in Luxembourg have only recently begun acknowledging the problem of human trafficking within the country, and they noted that the general public is not aware of trafficking as an issue of importance. During the year, an NGO initiated a petition calling on the government to develop anti-trafficking campaigns in national high schools focused on the sex trafficking of children. The government has not adopted a national action plan specifically on trafficking, and while it reported publicly on a range of issues that included trafficking, it did not report explicitly on its anti-trafficking efforts during the year. The government did not report any child sex tourism prosecutions or prevention efforts during the reporting period.

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