LUXEMBOURG: Tier 1
Luxembourg is a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Victims of sex trafficking from Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America are exploited in prostitution in cabarets, private apartments, and on the street. Forced labor, sometimes involving Chinese or Eastern or Southern European men, women, and children, occurs in various sectors, including restaurants and construction. Traffickers reportedly transport an unknown number of Romani children from neighboring countries for forced begging in Luxembourg. Groups vulnerable to trafficking include migrant workers in domestic work, catering, construction, and begging, as well as unaccompanied foreign children, and people in Luxembourg’s legal and illegal sex trade. Several police officers have been accused of pimping crimes in recent years.
The Government of Luxembourg fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government strengthened regulations related to victim assistance, increased awareness raising and prevention efforts, and funded anti-trafficking training. However, authorities continued to issue short and suspended sentences to traffickers and did not formalize a national referral mechanism on identification of, and provision of assistance to, trafficking victims.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LUXEMBOURG:
Vigorously prosecute, convict, and sentence labor and sex traffickers, including complicit officials, with sufficiently stringent prison sentences; finalize the national referral mechanism to guide front-line responders in how to proactively identify all types of trafficking victims and refer them to available services and protection; revise the trafficking law, including Art. 382-1, to clarify that force, fraud, or coercion are core elements of the crime of trafficking of adults; train law enforcement that subjecting a child to prostitution constitutes a trafficking offense; implement the planned national campaign to raise awareness of forced labor, sex trafficking, and the demand for human trafficking; establish a hotline with operators trained to assist victims; allow non-EU trafficking victims access to Luxembourg’s labor market; provide adequate resources to law enforcement and government officials to proactively assist victims and identify labor and sex trafficking cases; and work collaboratively with the national rapporteur to critically assess efforts and make recommendations to improve the government’s response to human trafficking.
The government demonstrated progress in holding traffickers accountable with prison time. Luxembourg prohibits all forms of both sex and labor trafficking through Articles 382-1 and 382-2 of the criminal code, although Article 382-1 is overly broad and could be used to prosecute non-trafficking cases, as force, fraud, and coercion are aggravating factors that increase penalties rather than a means to commit the offense. In April 2014, the government passed legislation that explicitly prohibits forced begging and the sale of children. The prescribed penalties for trafficking offenses range from three to 10 years’ imprisonment for adult trafficking and 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment for child trafficking. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.
Luxembourg City’s vice squad unit consisted of skilled officers but was small in size, covered a variety of crimes in addition to human trafficking, and continued to lack resources. During the reporting period, authorities launched 10 investigations, seven for sex trafficking and three for labor trafficking, while initiating prosecutions of four new sex trafficking and two new labor cases. Three ongoing cases with a total of nine defendants were ready for trial as of April 2015. The government convicted five sex traffickers in 2014, the same number as in 2013. Four offenders received sentences from 24 to 36 months’ imprisonment, with 12 to 24 months’ suspended and fines. One offender received 36 months’ imprisonment with no suspended sentence. While convicted traffickers continued to receive suspended sentences, all the traffickers spent some time in prison, improving deterrence of trafficking offenses. Authorities convicted three police officers for pimping in connection with a 2012 trafficking case and prescribed penalties of between six months’ and 12 months’ suspended sentences and fines ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 euro ($1,610 to 2,150). The officers were banned from public service for five years. The government funded an NGO-led training on identifying and assisting trafficking victims for police, immigration officers, and other government officials, and also funded five judges and prosecutors to participate in anti-trafficking training at a foreign magistrate’s school.
The government demonstrated some progress in the protection of trafficking victims. Authorities identified 11 sex and labor trafficking victims—including 10 adults and one child—in 2014 compared with 14 victims identified in 2013. Authorities began drafting a formal national referral mechanism for all front-line responders, including labor inspectors, immigration officials, health workers, child welfare officials, and others in how to identify proactively all types of trafficking victims and refer them to available services. A grand ducal decree issued in 2014 specifies when trafficking victim assistance is available and the types of assistance to which victims are entitled; it also establishes an official mandate for NGOs to assist victims. The government provided shelter and other services to 10 of the 11 identified victims during the reporting period—four female sex trafficking victims and six male labor trafficking victims. The government had policies in place to encourage trafficking victims to assist in the prosecution of trafficking offenders, including legal alternatives to removal to countries in which victims would face retribution or hardship. Trafficking victims were entitled to a 90-day reflection period to decide whether they wanted to testify, during which EU citizens could work. Upon expiration of the reflection period, the government could issue a foreign victim either temporary or permanent residence status, depending upon the victim’s willingness to cooperate with law enforcement and whether the victim was an EU or non-EU national. The government provided five trafficking victims with temporary residence permits in 2014 and 2015 and long-term residency for one victim from a previous year. There were no reports authorities penalized victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being subjected to human trafficking.
The government increased anti-trafficking prevention efforts. Since 2008, Luxembourg has lacked a national anti-trafficking awareness campaign; however, the government announced and committed funds to implement a campaign in 2015. Authorities published a brochure, which defined and described the types of trafficking, indicators to identify victims, and provided contact information to report suspected trafficking. The government’s inter-ministerial trafficking coordinating committee met five times during the reporting period. The new national rapporteur on trafficking in persons compiled a non-public report to the European Commission. The government reported drafting a national action plan to combat trafficking in persons. Authorities did not undertake any measures to reduce demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor in 2014. The government provided anti-trafficking training or guidance for its diplomatic personnel.