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TITLE:  LUXEMBOURG HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1993                           
DATE:  JANUARY 31, 1994


Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy with a democratic 
parliamentary form of government.  Executive authority is 
exercised by the Prime Minister.  The role of the Grand Duke, 
the titular Head of State, is largely ceremonial.  The Chamber 
of Deputies, a unicameral legislature, encompasses the full 
political spectrum.  The Council of State, an appointed body, 
reviews legislation before it is given final approval by the 

The police and gendarmerie who maintain order are subordinate 
to governmental and judicial authority.  Judicial and penal 
systems are open, efficient, and fair.

Luxembourg has a prosperous free market economy with active 
industrial and services sectors.  Its standard of living and 
level of social benefits are high.

Human rights are valued and safeguarded.  Individual rights are 
protected by law and respected in practice by both the 
Government and the populace.  Luxembourg's large foreign 
population (just over 30 percent) is well integrated into the 
society and the economy.  National practices in apparent 
conflict with human rights are quickly and publicly addressed.


Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

Killing for political reasons did not occur.

     b.  Disappearance

There were no known instances of politically motivated 

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

Torture or other unusual punishment is prohibited by law and is 
not known to occur.  An allegation by a resident Spanish 
foreign national charging police use of excessive force is 
being investigated to determine whether the police acted 
outside the law.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

Due process is provided by law and observed in practice.  
Except in cases of hot pursuit, judicial warrants are required 
for arrests.  Detainees must be charged and must appear before 
a judge within 24 hours of arrest.  Prisoners are not held 
incommunicado, and immediate access to an attorney is granted.  
Those who are charged are held pending trial or released on 
bail at the judge's discretion.  Exile is never imposed.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

Luxembourg has an independent and fair judicial system with the 
right of appeal.  Civilians are not tried in military courts.  
All defendants have access to legal counsel, at public expense 
if necessary.  All charges are formally and publicly stated.  
Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.  They 
have the right to public trial, cross-examination of witnesses, 
and presentation of evidence.  Either the defendant or the 
prosecutor may appeal a ruling.  An appeal results in a 
completely new judicial procedure, with the possibility that a 
sentence may be increased or decreased.  There are no political 

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 

The right to privacy is protected by law and respected in 
practice.  A judicial warrant is required to enter a private 
residence, to monitor private correspondence, or to conduct 
electronic surveillance.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

Freedoms of speech and press are legally protected and 
respected in practice.  Print media are privately owned and 
free of governmental interference.  The privately owned 
national radio and television company has exclusive rights for 
television broadcasting within Luxembourg.  The company is 
subject to governmental oversight but functions independently. 
A newly instituted permit system allows the establishment of 
other private radio stations.  Radio and television broadcasts 
from neighboring countries are freely available.

Censorship is not legally imposed, but societal consensus on 
propriety largely precludes dissemination of extreme 
pornography or of sensitive information concerning national 
security or the royal family.  Academic freedom is respected.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Freedom of peaceful assembly and association is provided by law 
and exists in practice.  No limitations are imposed on orderly 
public demonstrations.  Permits for public demonstrations are 
routinely issued.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

There is no state religion, and full freedom of religious 
choice exists.  There are no restrictions on maintaining places 
of worship, religious training or instruction, publication of 
religious material, or participation in charitable activities.  
Foreign clergy practice freely.  Luxembourg's population is 
about 95 percent Roman Catholic.  The state pays the salaries 
of Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish clergy.  Local 
governments often provide and maintain religious facilities.

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

There is full freedom of domestic and foreign travel, 
emigration, and repatriation.  Luxembourg asylum policy grants 
asylum seekers due process and full consideration of their 

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

Luxembourg is a fully functional multiparty democracy.  There 
is universal suffrage for all citizens aged 18 and above.  
Policy is freely debated within the Government and the 
society.  There is no risk in dissent; opposition groups and 
political parties operate without fear of government 
repression.  National elections are held every 5 years, and 
local elections every 6 years.  Representatives are chosen by 
secret ballot in direct elections which are based on a 
proportional system.  Multiple candidates run for most 
positions.  The Maastricht Treaty entitles nationals of 
European Union (EU) states to vote in their country of 
residence, starting in 1995, regardless of how long they have 
lived there.  Due to Luxembourg's large foreign population, it 
has received a derogation whereby EU non-citizen residents who 
have resided in Luxembourg for at least 5 years will be 
permitted to vote in local and European Parliament elections.  
Such residents may run for election after residing in 
Luxembourg for at least 10 years.

Foreigners who have fulfilled certain age and residency 
requirements (usually 18 years of age and 10 years of 
residence, 5 of them continuously) may apply for Luxembourg 
citizenship.  Women participate freely in the political 
process.  There are seven women in the Chamber of Deputies, 
including the President of the Chamber.  Other women in senior 
leadership positions include the Minister of Agriculture, the 
Secretary of State for Public Health and Youth, three members 
of the European Parliament, and the mayors of several major 
municipalities, including Luxembourg City.

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

The Government does not restrict the activities of local or 
international human rights groups.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

Racial, social, or sexual discrimination is prohibited by law.  
In practice, blatant discrimination rarely occurs, and 
relations among native Luxembourgers, immigrants, and other 
foreigners are generally good.


Women and men enjoy the same property rights.  In the absence 
of a prenuptial agreement, property is equally divided upon 
dissolution of a marriage.

Equal pay for equal work is mandated by law.  No job 
discrimination suits have been brought to date.  In addition to 
prominent women politicians and civil servants, there are noted 
women doctors, lawyers, and journalists.  A recent European 
Union study on women's presence in the Luxembourg labor market 
noted that only 52 percent of Luxembourg women between the ages 
of 25 and 49 work, which may be attributed in part to 
Luxembourg's singular prosperity.  The study also pointed out 
that, while progress is being made, women's salaries in 
Luxembourg are only 55 percent of men's earnings and that women 
are concentrated in lower level clerical, janitorial, and sales 
jobs but that progress is being made in the banking sector.

Violence against women is not widespread and is not tolerated 
by society or the Government.  Several women's rights groups, 
including some that aid battered women, are active.  
Prosecution of battery charges does take place, but cases are 


The Government is strongly committed to the protection of 
children's rights and welfare.  Luxembourg pays family 
allocation allowances (calculated on a sliding scale according 
to family income and size), birth premiums, and educational 
allowances.  School is compulsory, beginning at age 4.  Among 
other activities, the Ministry of Youth coordinates youth 
centers, educational and cultural exchanges, and courses.

Child abuse is not considered to be a widespread problem.  The 
Luxembourg Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse 
believes there may be about 200 cases a year.  Victims of or 
witnesses to child abuse may call for help on a hotline.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Government estimates in 1993 indicate that Luxembourg's foreign 
population is over 30 percent of the total, primarily long-term 
permanent residents.  Approximately 85 percent of the foreign 
population comes from European Community member states.  
Luxembourg recognizes a need for foreign workers, and 
foreigners generally are assimilated into the overall society 
and economy without difficulty.  "Skinheads" and neo-Nazis are 
few, and antiforeigner incidents are infrequent (estimated at 
less than 10 in 1993) and confined largely to harassment.  
Police respond whether or not the motivation is antiforeigner.  
The Government has tried to promote increased tolerance through 
education and subsidizes French, German, and Luxembourg courses 
to help integrate foreigners into the society.

Approximately 2,200 refugees from the former Yugoslavia resided 
in Luxembourg under temporary special protected status in 
1993.  Government and private entities continued to support 
their basic needs.  Some 300-400 of these refugees were 
working.  Although precise figures are difficult to determine, 
the Government has estimated that 220-250 refugees from the 
conflict in the former Yugoslavia resided in Luxembourg without 
the benefit of legal protection.

     People with Disabilities

Luxembourg's national programs for the disabled are coordinated 
by the Ministry of the Family.  Job placement and professional 
education assistance is provided by the Government.  Disabled 
workers apply for positions through the Employment 
Administration.  Businesses and enterprises with at least 25 
employees must hire qualified disabled workers if they apply 
and must pay them prevailing wages.  Employers who do not 
adhere to these quotas, which are determined by the size of the 
employer's work force, are subject to monthly fines equivalent 
to half of a disabled worker's monthly salary.  There is no 
record of complaints of noncompliance.

National legislation does not directly mandate accessibility 
for the disabled, but builders receive subsidies to construct 
"disabled friendly" structures.  The Ministry aims to expand 
access to public buildings, priority parking, housing, and 

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

All workers have the right to associate freely, choose their 
own representatives, publicize their views, and determine their 
agenda.  Approximately 65 percent of the labor force is 
unionized.  Membership is not mandatory.  Unions operate free 
of governmental interference.  The two largest labor 
federations are linked to, but organized independently of, the 
Christian Social and the Socialist Parties.  There are also 
several independent unions.  Laws prohibiting discrimination 
against strikes and strike leaders are enforced by a labor 

Except for government workers providing essential services, all 
workers have the right to strike.  Essential workers include 
police, army personnel, and medical workers in duty hospitals 
and clinics.  Those government workers who may strike must 
observe certain conditions, such as preliminary cooling-off 
periods.  Workers rarely strike in Luxembourg; no strikes 
occurred in 1993.

Unions maintain unrestricted contact with international bodies, 
including the European Trade Union Confederation and the 
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

Collective bargaining is protected by law and freely practiced 
throughout Luxembourg.  Wages, benefits, and working conditions 
are set in negotiations between unions and employers.  
Businesses having 15 or more employees must have worker 
representatives.  Businesses with over 150 employees must form 
joint works councils composed of equal numbers of management 
and employee representatives.  In businesses with more than 
1,000 employees, one-third of the membership of the supervisory 
boards of directors must be employees' representatives.

Both Luxembourg law and practice promote union activity and 
protect union leaders and members from discrimination.  
Effective procedures exist and are used to adjudicate 
employment-related complaints.  Labor tribunals are authorized 
to adjudicate employment-related complaints.  A request for a 
hearing before the court must be made in writing.  Parties to 
the dispute are summoned before the tribunal to give 
testimony.  The tribunal's decision may be appealed by either 
party.  The tribunal does not have the authority to require 
that employers found guilty of antiunion discrimination 
reinstate workers fired for union activities, but it can impose 
fines on such employers.

There are no export processing zones.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

Forced or compulsory labor is prohibited by law and does not 

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

Employment of children under the age of 15 is prohibited.  
Children are required by law to remain in school until they are 
16 years old.  Apprentices between 15 and 16 years of age must 
also attend school.  Adolescent workers receive additional 
legal protection, including limits on overtime and the number 
of hours that can be worked continuously.  The Ministries of 
Labor and of Education oversee strict enforcement of national 
child labor and education laws.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

The minimum wage legislation effective as of May 1993 provides 
for a minimum wage for workers at least 18 years of age with no 
dependents.  The minimum wage for a single adult worker 
throughout Luxembourg is approximately $6.50 per hour (232.99 
Luxembourg francs).  Lower, tiered minimum wage rates apply to 
younger workers and students between 15 and 18 years of age and 
increase yearly by age.  Minimum wage rates apply to all 
sectors of the economy without exception.  All wages and 
salaries are indexed to the general cost-of-living index.

Supplements to the minimum wage are added for workers with 
dependents.  Nonetheless, supporting a family in Luxembourg is 
difficult on the minimum wage.  In practice, most employees 
receive more than the minimum wage.

National legislation mandates a workweek of 40 hours.  Premium 
pay is required for overtime or unusual hours.  Employment on 
Sunday is prohibited except in continuous-process industries 
(steel, glass, and chemicals) and for certain maintenance and 
security personnel.  All workers receive a minimum of 5 weeks 
of paid vacation yearly, in addition to paid holidays.

Luxembourg enjoys very high health and safety standards.  A 
safe working environment is mandated by law and strictly 
enforced through an inspection system that provides severe 
penalties for infractions.  Inspections are carried out by the 
Labor Inspectorate of the Ministry of Labor and by the Accident 
Insurance Agency of the Social Security Ministry.

No laws or regulations specifically guarantee workers the right 
to remove themselves from dangerous work situations without 
jeopardy to continued employment.  If workers believe that the 
workplace is unsafe, they have the right to ask the Labor 
Inspectorate to make a determination.  Determinations of 
workplace safety are usually made expeditiously.

[end of document]


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