Rape and Domestic Violence: The law prohibits rape of both women and men, including spousal rape, and the government enforced the law effectively. Penalties for violations range from five to 10 years’ imprisonment. The law prohibits domestic violence, and the government effectively enforced the law. The law is gender-neutral and provides for the removal of abusers from their residences for a 14-day period that can be extended once for an additional three months upon request of the victim. Penalties may include fines and imprisonment. Police are required to investigate if an NGO reports having been approached by an individual for assistance in cases involving domestic abuse.
According to the most recent report published during the year, authorities investigated 144 accusations of indecent assault and 116 cases of rape in 2020, representing modest increases over the previous year. For example a man was taken to court on September 28 for allegedly having raped five women. The case remained open as of October.
Police also intervened 943 times in domestic violence situations, and prosecutors authorized 278 evictions of the abuser from the domestic home as a result of these incidents, which represent an increase of 11.1 percent and 12.8 percent, respectively, over the same period in the previous year. For example, after being presented a restraining order prohibiting entry to his domicile in Diekirch, due to charges of domestic violence, a man violated the restraining order to confront his spouse. On December 17, 2020, the man was detained, and the case is under judicial review.
The government funded organizations that provided shelter, counseling, psychosocial assistance, and hotlines. The government provided financial assistance to victims of domestic violence.
The Ministry of Equality between Women and Men operated a prevention website to raise awareness against the different types of violence against women, including psychological, sexual, and domestic violence, and provided victims with telephone numbers available for assistance services as well as contact information for police.
Sexual Harassment: The law prohibits gender-based sexual harassment and requires employers to protect employees from such harassment. Disciplinary measures against offenders included dismissal. The law considers an employer’s failure to take measures to protect employees from sexual harassment a breach of contract, and an affected employee is entitled to paid leave until the situation is rectified. In 2020 the Labor Inspection Court received no cases of sexual harassment in the workplace.
In its 2020 report to parliament and the government, the Center for Equal Treatment (CET) again noted that the law does not give the Court for Inspection of Labor and Mines (ITM) the means to punish perpetrators of sexual harassment, even though the court is responsible for applying provisions against sexual harassment in the workplace.
Reproductive Rights: There were no reports of coerced abortion or involuntary sterilization on the part of government authorities. Vulnerable populations such as individuals with disabilities and minorities must provide informed consent to medical treatment affecting reproductive health.
The government provided access to sexual and reproductive health services for survivors of sexual violence. Emergency contraception is available as part of clinical management of rape.
Discrimination: The law provides for the same legal status and rights for women as for men. The government enforced the law effectively. In 2020 the CET reported handling 39 cases of potential gender-based discrimination.
Systemic Racial or Ethnic Violence and Discrimination
The law provides for equal treatment and prohibits any form of discrimination, direct or indirect, based on religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, race, or ethnicity. The scope of the law covers places of work, school, and the public sphere.
The CET recorded 44 cases of alleged discrimination involving race or ethnicity in its 2020 report.
Birth Registration: Citizenship is governed by the principle of descent, according to which a father or mother who is a citizen automatically conveys citizenship to offspring at birth. The law allows for citizenship via naturalization and allows dual citizenship. Citizenship for minor children is automatically conveyed when a parent naturalizes. During the year, there were no birth registrations denied on a discriminatory basis.
Child Abuse: The law prohibits child abuse. Authorities enforced the law. Penalties for child abuse range from one to five years’ imprisonment and fines. Three separate hotlines were available to assist children who were victims of domestic abuse.
Child, Early, and Forced Marriage: The minimum legal age for marriage is 18 but can be waived by a guardianship judge. In its 2017 report to parliament, the country’s Ombudsman Committee for the Rights of Children noted that forced marriage had become a problem as a result of immigration, but no official data on it was available.
Sexual Exploitation of Children: The law prohibits the commercial sexual exploitation of children, the sale of children, the offering or procuring of a child for commercial sexual exploitation, and practices related to child pornography. Authorities enforced the law, and cases were rare. Penalties for trafficking, including sex trafficking, of children range from 10 to 15 years’ imprisonment and fines. The law provides that a client that committed a commercial sex act with a minor can be sentenced to one to five years of imprisonment, five to 10 years if the minor was younger than age 16, and 10 to 15 years if the minor was younger than age 11, plus fines.
The minimum legal age for consensual sex is 16.
Displaced Children: In 2020 the Immigration Directorate noted 47 asylum requests for unaccompanied children, a slight increase compared to 2019. In 2020 the government accepted 21 unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan, seven from Syria, and 19 from other countries. Three specialized housing shelters specifically designated for unaccompanied children, and two other shelters also accepted unaccompanied children; the government placed unaccompanied children in these shelters whenever feasible.
International Child Abductions: The country is a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. See the Department of State’s Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/International-Parental-Child-Abduction/for-providers/legal-reports-and-data/reported-cases.html.
The Jewish community numbered approximately 1,500 persons. There were isolated cases of anti-Semitic content on the internet.
The law provides for punishment of anti-Semitic statements and Holocaust denial; the government generally enforced the law when notified. Jewish groups reported anti-Semitic statements and attitudes online, especially in association with statements related to the government of Israel and the Holocaust.
On June 12, the NGO Research and Information on Anti-Semitism in Luxembourg (RIAL) published its report for 2020. The report described 64 incidents of anti-Semitism in the country; most incidents occurred on social media. Persons spreading disinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic also promoted conspiracy theories regarding anti-Semitism. The report emphasized that social media posts often revolved around Judeo/Masonic conspiracy theories.
Trafficking in Persons
See the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report at https://www.state.gov/trafficking-in-persons-report/.
Persons with Disabilities
The law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities. The government largely enforced these provisions. The law requires all new government-owned buildings and buildings undergoing renovation to be accessible to persons with disabilities. Private facilities and services as well as existing government-owned buildings are not subject to the law. The accessibility of public transportation outside the capital was limited. The law recognizes German sign language, allowing deaf and hard-of-hearing persons to use both the language and a state-paid interpreter in their communications with government.
In its 2020 report, the CET wrote that it handled 49 cases of potential discrimination related to disability. Most of the cases concerned access to the job market and housing.
The education system allows children with disabilities to attend their local schools with their peers without disabilities. Parents, however, can decide to place their children in segregated classes. According to a representative of InfoHandicap, most children with disabilities attended segregated classes due to the lack of trained teachers to respond to the children’s needs in mainstream schools. The representative further noted that attending school in a segregated classroom affects a child’s chances of employment or pursuing higher education, because segregated classes do not issue diplomas. A representative of the Ministry of Education noted that the ministry increased financial resources and trained personnel to allow a maximum number of children with disabilities to attend their local schools with their peers without disabilities.
The government provided paid family support leave that allowed one parent (either self-employed or working in the private sector) to take care of a disabled or older person whose care facility structure ceased its activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Several organizations, including the Luxembourg Assistance to Persons Suffering from Neuromuscular and Rare Diseases and InfoHandicap, criticized the government for not allowing both parents to stay home at the same time, as affected children often needed attention from more than one caregiver. According to the government, making such an exception to the law would have discriminated against families with children without disabilities.
The law permits persons with mental disabilities to be placed under legal guardianship. Persons under guardianship lose the right to vote. Several associations, including InfoHandicap, called the law excessively restrictive.
Acts of Violence, Criminalization, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
The law prohibits all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and the government generally enforced the law.
The CET’s 2020 report stated that it handled 12 cases of potential discrimination linked to sexual orientation.
The president of Rosa Letzebuerg, a local prolesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTQI+) association, noted that gay and bisexual men are not prohibited from blood donation, but are required to abstain from sexual activity for 12 months before being eligible to donate blood.