Access to Asylum: The law provides for the granting of asylum or refugee status, and the government has established a system for providing protection to refugees.
Following the temporary closure of the asylum office in October 2011, the immigration office streamlined procedures and hired additional staff to address more effectively the high level of asylum requests. However, these measures were not fully operational at year’s end, and prolonged waiting periods during the adjudication process remained a problem. Housing concerns that surfaced in 2011 subsided as local communities provided housing in hotels, apartments, or special housing containers throughout the country.
The government granted refugee status to the majority of Iraqi refugee applicants who conducted a hunger strike in September 2011. Authorities were still adjudicating the remaining requests at year’s end. During the year 28 Iraqi refugees applied for asylum; five refused refugee applicants were returned to Iraq.
The granting or denying of international protection was determined on a case-by-case basis through individual interviews and background checks. Responsible government authorities and the population at large generally treated applicants and refugees well. However, the government refused the majority of applicants from Serbia because authorities often deemed their requests for international protection unfounded, that is, primarily based on economic factors.
Safe Country of Origin/Transit: Luxembourg applies the safe country of transit principle. There are no laws permitting the denial of asylum based on an applicant’s country of origin.
Refoulement: The government provided protection against the expulsion or return of refugees to countries where their lives or freedom would be threatened on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. There were no “black lists” for repatriation, and authorities examined each dossier on its merits.
Temporary Protection: The law provides for the possibility of granting protection to individuals who may not qualify as refugees. The government granted such protection to seven persons as of year’s end. The country’s laws classify cases of temporary protection under the category of subsidiary protection; there were five such cases during the year.