The government increased law enforcement efforts. Luxembourg criminalized sex trafficking and labor trafficking through Articles 382-1 and 382-2 of the criminal code and prescribed penalties of three to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine for trafficking offenses involving adult victims and 10 to 15 years’ imprisonment and a fine for offenses involving child victims. These penalties were sufficiently stringent and, with respect to sex trafficking, commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Inconsistent with the definition of trafficking under international law, the law established the use of force, fraud, or coercion as aggravating factors rather than essential elements of the crime.
In 2018, the government initiated 10 investigations (four of forced labor, five of sex trafficking, and one of forced begging of a minor), compared with seven investigations in 2017 (five of forced labor and two of sex trafficking). The government initiated six new prosecutions (one in 2017) and convicted seven for sex trafficking in 2018 (eight in 2017), and one for forced labor (zero in 2017). Courts issued weak sentences for trafficking convictions, a perennial problem that undercut efforts to hold traffickers accountable and protect victims. In addition, courts fully or partially suspended all sentences; they fully suspended six out of eight, requiring only two of the convicted traffickers to serve any prison time. The courts ordered all convicted traffickers to pay fines ranging from €500 to €20,000 ($570 to $22,940). The average effective prison term decreased for the third consecutive year to 10 months (15 months in 2017). In a 2018 appeal of a 2016 case, a court upheld convictions against two traffickers, but it reduced their sentences; one trafficker’s sentence was fully suspended and another trafficker’s €10,000 ($11,470) fine eliminated. In 2018, the police organized crime unit responsible for investigating trafficking increased its staff of investigators from 12 to 14. Through police reform efforts, the government made the victim protection unit independent from the organized crime unit to further separate victim assistance and investigations. In 2018, the government held three iterations of anti-trafficking and victim identification training attended by police, prosecutors, and judges. During the reporting period, the police mandated anti-trafficking training for all new recruits. Police and investigators participated in a joint investigation with Belgium for an ongoing trafficking investigation. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials complicit in trafficking offenses.