The State Department web site below is a permanent electronic archive of information released prior to January 20, 2001.  Please see for material released since President George W. Bush took office on that date.  This site is not updated so external links may no longer function.  Contact us with any questions about finding information.

NOTE: External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.

Department Seal




Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy with a democratic 
parliamentary form of government.  The role of the Grand Duke 
is mainly ceremonial and administrative.  The Prime Minister is 
the leader of the dominant party in the popularly elected 
Parliament.  The Council of State, whose members are appointed 
by the Grand Duke, serves as an advisory body to the 
Parliament.  The judiciary is an independent branch.

The Government effectively controls the security apparatus, 
which consists of police and gendarmerie.

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

The Constitution and laws provide for the full range of human 
rights, and the Government respects these rights in practice.


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

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

There were no reports of political or other extrajudicial 

     b.  Disappearance

There were no reports of disappearances.

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

The law prohibits torture and other cruel punishment, and the 
authorities respect these provisions.  Officials immediately 
investigated the sole allegation of police mistreatment and 
took disciplinary action.  Also in 1994, two police officers 
were convicted of mistreating a resident foreigner in 1993; 
they were given suspended sentences and required to pay fines.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

The law stipulates that judicial warrants are required for 
arrests except in cases of hot pursuit.   Within 24 hours of 
arrest the police must lodge charges and bring the suspect 
before a judge.  Suspects are not held incommunicado.  They are 
given immediate access to an attorney, at government expense 
for indigents.  The presiding judge may order release on bail.

Exile is never imposed.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

The independent judiciary is headed by the Supreme Court, whose 
members are appointed by the Grand Duke.  Defendants are 
presumed innocent.  They have the right to public trial, and 
are free to cross-examine witnesses and to present evidence.  
Either the defendant or the prosecutor can appeal a ruling; 
appeal results in a completely new judicial procedure, with the 
possibility that a sentence may be increased or decreased.

There are no political prisoners.

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

The law provides for the right to privacy, and the authorities 
respect this.  Police must obtain a judicial warrant in order 
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

The law provides for freedom of speech and press, and the 
Government does not restrict this freedom.  Print media are 
privately owned.  The privately owned national radio and 
television company has exclusive television broadcasting rights 
within the country.  A new permit system allows establishment 
of other private radio stations.  Radio and television 
broadcasts from neighboring countries are freely available.

Academic freedom is fully respected.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The law provides for freedom of peaceful assembly and 
association.  The authorities routinely and unconditionally 
grant permits for public demonstrations.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the 
Government does not hamper exercise of this freedom.  There is 
no state religion, but the State pays salaries of Roman 
Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish clergy, and several local 
governments maintain sectarian religious facilities.

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

Citizens have full freedom of domestic and foreign travel, 
emigration, and repatriation.

The Government cooperates with the U.N. High Commissioner for 
Refugees and other humanitarian organizations in assisting 
refugees, and does not expel those having a valid claim to 
refugee status.  It has taken no action against the more than 
200 people from the former Yugoslavia remaining in Luxembourg 
after the Government denied them temporary asylum.

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

Luxembourg is a multiparty democracy.  Suffrage is universal 
for citizens aged 18 and above, and balloting is secret.  
National parliamentary elections are held every 5 years.

Women are active in political life.  There are 7 women in 
Parliament (including its President), 2 in the Cabinet, and
3 in the European Parliament, and the mayors of several major 
municipalities, including the capital, are women.

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

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

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

The law prohibits racial, sexual, or social discrimination, and 
the Government enforces these provisions.  Blatant societal 
discrimination occurs only rarely.


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

The law mandates equal pay for equal work.  To date there have 
been no work-related discrimination suits.  While the number of 
working women remains relatively low, the percentage of women 
who work has more than doubled over the past two decades, and 
increasing numbers of women hold prominent positions in 
medicine, law, journalism, and other professions, as well as in 
public service.  Latest official data indicate that from 1970 
to 1991, the percentage of women aged 30 working outside the 
home rose from 28 percent to 58 percent, while for women aged 
40, the rate increased from 21 percent to almost 53 percent.

Violence against women is not widespread, and neither society 
nor the Government is tolerant of it.  The Government 
prosecutes persons accused of violence against spouses or other 
women, but cases are rare.  Several women's rights groups aid 
battered women.


Child abuse does not appear to be widespread, and laws against 
child abuse are enforced.  The Association for the Prevention 
of Child Abuse, a government organization created in 1984, 
estimates there may be some 200 cases a year.  The Association 
works closely with other social service organizations and 
maintains a hot-line for victims or witnesses.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Although foreigners constitute over 30 percent of the total 
population, antiforeigner incidents are infrequent and rarely 
involve violence.  Resident "skinheads" and neo-Nazis are few.  
In August the police rapidly dispersed and deported over 150 
neo-Nazis from surrounding countries who attempted to stage 
racist demonstrations in Luxembourg.

     People with Disabilities

National legislation does not directly mandate accessibility 
for the disabled, but the Government pays subsidies to builders 
to construct "disabled-friendly" structures.  Despite 
government incentives, only a modest proportion of buildings 
and public transportation have been modified to accommodate 
people with disabilities.

The Government helps disabled persons obtain employment and 
professional education.  By law, businesses and enterprises 
with at least 25 employees must fill a quota for hiring 
disabled workers, and must pay them prevailing wages.  The 
quota is fixed according to the total number of employees, and 
employers who do not fulfill them are subject to sizable 
monthly fines.  There have been no known complaints of 

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

All workers have the right to associate freely and choose their 
representatives.  About 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, 
major political parties.  The law prohibits discrimination 
against strikes and strike leaders, and a labor tribunal deals 
with complaints on these matters.

All workers have the right to strike except for government 
workers providing essential services such as police, armed 
forces, and hospital personnel.  However, strikes are rare; 
none occurred in 1994.

Unions maintain unrestricted contact with international 

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The law provides for and protects collective bargaining, which 
is conducted in periodic negotiations between centralized 
organizations of unions and employers.  Enterprises having 15 
or more employees must have worker representatives to conduct 
collective bargaining.  Enterprises with over 150 employees 
must form joint works councils composed of equal numbers of 
management and employee representatives.  In enterprises with 
more than 1,000 employees, one-third of the membership of the 
supervisory boards of directors must be employees' 

The law provides for adjudication of employment-related 
complaints, and it authorizes labor tribunals to deal with 
them.  A tribunal can impose a fine on an employer found guilty 
of antiunion discrimination, but it cannot require the employer 
to reinstate a worker fired for union activities.

There are no export processing zones.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The law prohibits forced or compulsory labor, and neither 

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The law prohibits employment of children under age 15, and 
requires children to remain in school until age 16.  
Apprentices who are 15 or 16 years old must attend school in 
addition to their job training.  Adolescent workers under age 
18 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 
effectively monitor the enforcement of national child-labor and 
education laws.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

The law provides for minimum wage rates at levels that vary 
according to the worker's age and number of dependents.  The 
minimum for a single worker over age 17 is approximately $7.49 
per hour (238.81 Luxembourg francs).  Supporting a family is 
difficult on the minimum wage, but most employees earn more 
than the minimum.

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.  Employment on Sunday must be voluntary and 
compensated at double the normal wage; and the employee must be 
given compensatory time off on another day, equal to the number 
of hours worked on Sunday.  The law requires rest breaks for 
shift workers, and limits all workers to a maximum of 10 hours 
per day including overtime.  All workers receive at least 5 
weeks of paid vacation yearly, in addition to paid holidays.

The law mandates a safe working environment.  An effective 
inspection system provides severe penalties for infractions.  
The Labor Inspectorate of the Ministry of Labor, and the 
Accident Insurance Agency of the Social Security Ministry, 
effectively carry out their inspections.

No laws or regulations specifically guarantee workers the right 
to remove themselves from dangerous work situations without 
jeopardy to continued employment, but every worker has the 
right to ask the Labor Inspectorate to make a determination, 
and the Inspectorate usually does so expeditiously.


[end of document]


Department Seal

Return to 1994 Human Rights Practices report home page.
Return to DOSFAN home page.
This is an official U.S. Government source for information on the WWW. Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.