The Government of Luxembourg fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period; therefore Luxembourg remained on Tier 1. The government demonstrated serious and sustained efforts by doubling the number of staff in the police unit responsible for trafficking, identifying more victims, increasing funding for victim assistance, and increasing the amount of training available for civil servants. Although the government meets the minimum standards, courts fully suspended half of all prison sentences for convicted traffickers, creating potential safety problems for trafficking victims, weakening deterrence, and undercutting efforts of police and prosecutors.

Vigorously prosecute, convict, and sentence traffickers with sufficiently stringent prison sentences; increase law enforcement efforts against labor trafficking; revise the trafficking law, including article 382-1, to clarify that force, fraud, or coercion are core elements of the crime of trafficking of adults; increase the number of labor inspectors; require victim identification training for labor inspectors; increase funding to NGOs to provide expedient victim assistance; make resources available to law enforcement and government officials to proactively identify and assist victims and investigate labor and sex trafficking cases; coordinate and centralize the collection of trafficking data across government; continue to work collaboratively with, and make resources available to, the national rapporteur to critically assess efforts and make recommendations to improve the government’s response to human trafficking; and establish a victim assistance hotline.

The government maintained law enforcement efforts. Luxembourg criminalized all forms of sex and labor trafficking through articles 382-1 and 382-2 of the criminal code, although article 382-1 is broader than the international definition 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. The prescribed penalties 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, with respect to sex trafficking, commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In February 2018, the government passed bill 7008, which criminalized the solicitation of prostitution from a person known to the solicitor to be a trafficking victim, and criminalized the theft, modification, damage, or destruction of another person’s travel documents.

In 2017, the government initiated seven investigations (five of forced labor and two of sex trafficking), compared with 10 investigations in 2016 (two of forced labor and eight of sex trafficking). The government initiated one new prosecution (five in 2016) and convicted eight for sex trafficking in 2017 (11 in 2016); there were no forced labor convictions. Courts issued weak sentences for trafficking convictions, undercutting efforts to hold traffickers accountable. Half of the convicted traffickers (four of eight) received fully suspended prison sentences and were ordered to pay fines ranging from €1,500 to €12,000 ($1,800 to $14,410). Four traffickers received partially suspended sentences and were ordered to serve between 12 and 18 months in prison and pay fines ranging from €2,000 to €20,000 ($2,400 to $24,010). The average effective prison term was 15 months (19.75 months in 2016). The police organized crime unit, responsible for trafficking, doubled its staff of investigators to 11 and created a new victim protection unit staffed by two personnel to establish clear separation between victim assistance and investigations. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials complicit in trafficking offenses.

The government increased efforts to protect victims. Authorities identified 11 trafficking victims (eight forced labor victims and three sex trafficking victims), compared with three in 2016 (all sex trafficking victims). All victims were foreign citizens; six were women, five were men, and one was a boy. Seven of the 11 victims received assistance from government-funded shelters. Officials reported labor inspectors were chronically understaffed and not required to complete victim identification training, which negatively impacted the proactive identification of forced labor victims. The government provided €164,200 ($197,120) to the two NGOs responsible for coordinating trafficking victim care, an increase from €149,600 ($179,590) in 2016. The two NGOs were funded to operate a maximum combined total of 40 hours per week. Beginning in 2018, the government increased funded operational hours to a maximum combined total of 60 hours per week. When victims were identified outside operational hours, police could directly refer adult female and child victims to general shelters for victims of crime; adult male victims could be housed temporarily in hotels until longer-term housing could be identified. Adult male victims received the same access to long-term accommodation and other victim services as adult female and child victims. The NGOs’ limited hours of operation, coupled with the physical separation of their staff created delays in delivering victim assistance. The government also provided €6.6 million ($7.9 million) to assistance centers that provided shelter and assistance to adult female and child victims of crime, including trafficking victims, compared with €6.4 million ($7.7 million) in 2016. The government had 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 residency status, which conferred the right to work, depending upon the victim’s willingness to cooperate with law enforcement and whether the victim was an EU national. Two victims were issued a temporary residency permit during the reporting period. Victim assistance was not contingent on a successful trafficking prosecution. Victims could participate in a witness protection program to ensure their security before, during, and after a trial. Victims could claim restitution from the government and file civil suits against traffickers, but none were recorded. There were no reports authorities penalized victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being subjected to trafficking.

The government increased prevention efforts. The government’s inter-ministerial committee, chaired by the Ministry of Justice, met four times in 2017 to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts and the national action plan. For the first time, the government granted the inter-ministerial committee its own dedicated budget of €15,000 ($18,010) to fund awareness activities. In 2017, the government increased training for civil servants by offering its basic anti-trafficking course eight times and an advanced iteration two times. The government re-launched its multi-faceted awareness campaign across media and news outlets and collaborated with an NGO to promote forced labor awareness. The national rapporteur on trafficking in persons finalized its first biannual report and presented it to a parliamentary justice commission in March 2017. The rapporteur reported a lack of accurate and reliable trafficking data and emphasized a critical need to coordinate and centralize data collection across the government. The government provided funding for multiple development programs in other countries that contained anti-trafficking components. From 2015 to 2017, the government provided €240,800 ($289,080) to an NGO for local awareness campaigns focused on the prevention of child sex tourism. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor. The government did not operate a victim assistance hotline.

As reported over the past five years, 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 commercial sex industry.

U.S. Department of State

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