[ Country-by-Country Reports ]

LUXEMBOURG (TIER 1)   [Extracted from U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2009]

Luxembourg is a destination country for women trafficked primarily from Russia and Ukraine for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. An increasing number of women from Africa, primarily Nigeria, are engaged in prostitution in the country, and are particularly vulnerable to trafficking due to debts they incur in the process of migrating – legally or illegally -- to Luxembourg. The government and NGOs did not identify any cases of forced labor during the reporting period.

The Government of Luxembourg fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government enacted additional anti-trafficking legislation and funded a sex trafficking demand reduction campaign during the reporting period. While formalized victim identification and referral procedures remained lacking, the government established a 90-day reflection period for victims in 2008.

Recommendations for Luxembourg: Establish formal procedures to identify victims among vulnerable groups, such as women in the legal commercial sex trade and illegal migrants, and to refer these victims to available services; ensure there are adequate protection facilities in place for all trafficking victims, including victims of forced labor, and child and male victims; and launch an awareness campaign to educate authorities and the general public about forms of labor trafficking.

The Luxembourg government demonstrated progress in the prosecution of trafficking crimes during the reporting period. In February 2009, the government adopted long-awaited amendments to its penal code that distinguish human trafficking from smuggling or illegal migration and broaden the definition of human trafficking to include forced labor. Penalties prescribed in the new legislation increased from a maximum prison term of three years, to a range of five to 10 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes. There were seven prosecutions and convictions of sex trafficking offenders during the reporting period, compared with six from the previous year. Sentences ranged from three months’ imprisonment with fines to three years’ imprisonment with fines. The majority of trafficking offenders were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment or more. The government continued its ongoing training of police, immigration, and other government officials and NGOs on victim identification. There was no evidence of trafficking complicity by Luxembourg public officials during the year.

The government made some additional progress in protecting trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government adopted immigration legislation in 2008 that provides human trafficking victims with relief from deportation through the granting of temporary residence status for a 90-day reflection period. The government did not provide long-term shelter or housing benefits for victims of trafficking. The government encourages victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders during the reflection period, though the granting of the reflection period is not conditional on victims’ cooperation with authorities. The government worked with neighboring countries on a witness protection plan for two trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government also funded two NGOs providing services for women in distress that also serve female human trafficking victims. Child victims of trafficking were placed in a general shelter for juveniles that offered specialized services for trafficking victims. 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 is unclear whether all women in prostitution who are in the country illegally are checked for trafficking indicators before being deported or imprisoned. It is also unclear whether authorities are proactively identifying victims among the estimated 500 women in prostitution in Luxembourg’s legalized sex trade. The government did not appear to employ a formal referral mechanism for authorities to use when referring victims to available services.

The government made some progress in its efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. It launched a sex trafficking public awareness campaign at bus stops. In addition, the Ministry of Equal Opportunity funded a sex trafficking demand reduction poster campaign bearing the slogan, “If you hire a prostitute, you are financing human trafficking.” The government did not report any child sex tourism prosecutions or prevention efforts during the reporting period.