Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Grand Duche de Luxembourg
Joined United Nations: 24 October 1945
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 18 October 2012
509,074 (July 2012 est.)
Grand Duke since 7 October 2000
Henri assumed the throne upon the abdication of his father
Grand Duke Jean after a 36 year rule. Guillaume became the
heir apparent at birth as the eldest child of Henri.
Next scheduled election: None. Heredity ascension
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
Prime Minister since 1 January 1995
Following popular elections to the Chamber of Deputies, the
leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority
coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch; the
deputy prime minister is appointed by the monarch
Elections: last held last held 7 June 2009
Next scheduled election: June 2014
|DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Luxembourger 63.1%, Portuguese 13.3%, French 4.5%, Italian 4.3%, German 2.3%, other EU 7.3%, other 5.2%
87% Roman Catholic, 13% Protestants, Jews, and Muslims (2000)
Constitutional monarchy with 3 districts. Legal system is based on civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Executive: Monarch is hereditary; the heir apparent is the eldest son of the monarch; prime minister and vice prime
minister appointed by the monarch following legislative elections
Legislative: Unicameral Chamber of Deputies or Chambre des Deputes (60 seats; members are elected by direct
popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 7 June 2009 (next to be held by June 2014)
note: there is also a Council of State that serves as an advisory body to the Chamber of Deputies; the Council of State
has 21 members appointed by the Grand Duke on the advice of the prime minister
Judicial: Judicial courts and tribunals (3 Justices of the Peace, 2 district courts, and 1 Supreme Court of Appeals);
administrative courts and tribunals (State Prosecutor's Office, administrative courts and tribunals, and the Constitutional
Court); judges for all courts are appointed for life by the monarch
Luxembourgish (national language), German (administrative language), French (administrative language)
The first known reference to the territory in modern Luxembourg was by Julius Caesar in his Commentaries on the Gallic
War. The history of Luxembourg proper began with the construction of Luxembourg Castle in the Middle Ages. It was
Siegried I, Count of Ardennes who traded some of his ancestral lands with the monks of the Abbey of St. Maximin in
Trier in 963 for an ancient, supposedly Roman, fort by the name of Lucilinburhuc. Modern historians explain the
etimology of the word with Letze, meaning fortification which might have referred to either the remains of a Roman
watchtower or to a primitive refuge of the early middle ages. Around this fort a town gradually developed, which became
the centre of a small but important state of great strategic value to France, Germany and the Netherlands. Luxembourg's
fortress, located on a rocky outcrop known as the Bock, was steadily enlarged and strengthened over the years by
successive owners, among others the Bourbons, Habsburgs and Hohenzollerns, which made it one of the strongest
fortresses on the European continent. Its formidable defences and strategic location caused it to become known as the
'Gibraltar of the North'. The Luxembourgish dynasty provided several Holy Roman Emperors, Kings of Bohemia, as well
as Archbishops of Trier and Mainz. From the Early Middle Ages to the Renaissance, Luxembourg bore multiple names,
depending on the author. These include Lucilinburhuc, Lutzburg, Lützelburg, Luccelemburc, Lichtburg, among others.
Luxembourg remained an independent fief (county) of the Holy Roman Empire until 1354, when the emperor Charles IV
elevated it to the status of a duchy. At that time the Luxembourg family held the Crown of Bohemia, but the duchy was
usually possessed as appanage by a separate branch of the family. In 1437 the imperial Luxembourg family became
extinct in the male line. At that time, the duchy and castle were held by the Bohemian princess Elisabeth of Gorlitz,
Duchess of Luxembourg, a cadet granddaughter of emperor Charles IV, who however was childless, and in 1440 made a
treaty with her powerful neighbour Philip II, Duke of Burgundy that Philip would administer the duchy and would inherit it
after the Duchess Elisabeth's death, which occurred in 1451 - Philip however accelerated things by expelling Elisabeth in
1443. After being captured by Philip of Burgundy in 1443 and ultimately from 1467 to 1469, the duchy became one of
the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands. With the marriage of Mary of Burgundy in 1477 all the Netherlands
provinces, including Luxembourg, came under Habsburg rule in the person of her husband Maximilian, and later and their
son Philip the Handsome. Habsburg rule was confirmed in 1715, and Luxembourg was integrated into the Austrian
Netherlands. Emperor Joseph and his successor Emperor Charles VI were, in addition to their descent from Spanish
kings who were heirs of Albert VII, also descendants of Anna of Bohemia and William of Thuringia, having that blood
through their mother (although they were heirs-general of neither line). Charles was the first ruler of Luxembourg to
descend from both sisters, daughters of Elisabeth II of Bohemia, the last Luxembourg empress. During the War of the
First Coalition, Luxemburg was conquered and annexed by Revolutionary France, becoming part of the département of
the Forêts in 1795. The annexation was formalised at Campo Formio in 1797. Luxembourg remained more or less
under French rule until the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, when the Congress of Vienna gave formal autonomy to
Luxembourg. It was not until 1867 that Luxembourg's independence was formally ratified, after a turbulent period which
even included a brief time of civil unrest against plans to annex Luxembourg to Belgium, Germany or France. Luxembourg
remained a possession of the kings of the Netherlands until the death of William III in 1890, when the grand duchy passed
to the House of Nassau-Weilburg due to a Nassau inheritance pact of 1783. During the First World War, Luxembourg
was occupied by Germany, but the government and Grandduchess Marie-Adélaïde were allowed to remain in office
throughout the occupation (until 1918), bringing accusations of collaboration from France. It was liberated by U.S. and
French troops. Two American divisions were based in the state in the years following the War. At Versailles the Belgian
claim to Luxembourg was rejected and its independence reaffirmed. During World War II the Luxembourgish government
and monarchy was swept away into exile by the German invasion of May 10 1940. U.S. forces again liberated most of
the country in September 1944, after which Luxembourg abandoned its official policy of neutrality, becoming a founding
member of NATO and a vital member of the European Union including voting for the European Constitution in 2005.
Source: Wikipedia History of Luxembourg
This small, stable, high-income economy - benefiting from its proximity to France, Belgium, and Germany - has
historically featured solid growth, low inflation, and low unemployment. The industrial sector, initially dominated by
steel, has become increasingly diversified to include chemicals, rubber, and other products. Growth in the financial
sector, which now accounts for about 28% of GDP, has more than compensated for the decline in steel. Most banks
are foreign-owned and have extensive foreign dealings, but Luxembourg has lost some of its advantages as a tax haven
because of OECD and EU pressure. The economy depends on foreign and cross-border workers for about 60% of its
labor force. Luxembourg, like all EU members, suffered from the global economic crisis that began in late 2008, but
unemployment has trended below the EU average. Following strong expansion from 2004 to 2007, Luxembourg's
economy contracted 3.6% in 2009, but rebounded in 2010-11. The country continues to enjoy an extraordinarily high
standard of living - GDP per capita ranks among the highest in the world, and is the highest in the euro zone. Turmoil in
the world financial markets and lower global demand during 2008-09 prompted the government to inject capital into
the banking sector and implement stimulus measures to boost the economy. Government stimulus measures and support
for the banking sector, however, led to a 5% government budget deficit in 2009. Nevertheless, the deficit was cut to
1.1% in 2011. Even during the financial crisis and recovery, Luxembourg retained the highest current account surplus as
a share of GDP in the euro zone, owing largely to their strength in financial services. Public debt remains among the
lowest of the region although it has more than doubled since 2007 as percentage of GDP.
Source: CIA World Factbook (select Luxembourg)
In the June 2004 parliamentary elections, the CSV won 24, the LSAP 14, the DP 10, the Green Party 7, and the ADR
5. The Left and the Communist Party lost their single seat in part due to their separate campaigns. The Democratic
Party which had become the junior coalition partner in 1999 registered heavy losses. The long-reigning Christian
Socialist (CSV) was the main winner, partly due to the personal popularity of the prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker
(CSV). In July 2004, it chose the LSAP as its coalition partner. Jean Asselborn (LSAP) was appointed as the Vice
Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration.
A complete list of all governments is maintained on the website of the Government of Luxembourg.
In 2008, a bitter controversy over euthanasia had parliament pass a measure which would restrict the veto powers of
the grand-duke, who had opposed the pro-euthanasia law on the grounds of his private Christian conscience, much like
what had occurred in Belgium in the early 1990s on the topic of abortion.
Source: Wikipedia Politics of Luxembourg
|HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
|2011 Human Rights Report: Luxembourg
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 25, 2012
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy with a democratic, parliamentary form of government. Legislative
authority is vested in the unicameral Chamber of Deputies (parliament). The prime minister is the leader of the dominant party in the
popularly elected parliament. In 2009 the country held parliamentary elections that were considered free and fair. Security forces
reported to civilian authorities.
Government delays in adjudication of asylum claims and failure to provide adequate housing for asylum seekers were notable
problems that arose from the near doubling of asylum requests during the year.
Other human rights problems reported during the year included cases of domestic violence against women and allegations of human
trafficking, primarily of women for sexual exploitation.
The government remained prepared to prosecute any officials in the security services and elsewhere in the government who
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8 April 2008
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
14 January- 1 February 2008
Concluding comments of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
2. The Committee expresses its appreciation to the State party for the quality of its fifth periodic report which follows the
Committee’s guidelines for the preparation of periodic reports and takes into account the Committee’s previous concluding
observations and recommendations. The Committee also expresses its appreciation for the written replies to the list of issues and
questions raised by the pre-session working group and for the oral presentation and further clarifications offered in response to
questions posed orally by Committee members.
B. Positive aspects
6. The Committee commends the State party on its overall achievement in furthering women’s human rights in Luxembourg.
7. The Committee commends the State party for the legislative developments since the consideration of its last periodic report in
2003, namely, the revision of Article 11 of the Constitution adopted on 21 June 2006 which anchors the principle of equality
between women and men in the legislative framework of the State party; the adoption on 23 December 2005 of the Law on the
Naming of Children; the adoption on 3 June 2004 of the Law on Collective Labour Relations which, among other matters, calls for
the application of the principle of equal pay for women and men in labour contracts; the adoption of the Domestic Violence Law of
8 September 2003; and the enactment of the Law of 19 May 2003 amending the General Statute of Civil Servants and which
introduces measures to promote the reconciliation of family and working life.
C. Concerns and recommendations
10. The Committee recalls the State party’s obligation to systematically and continuously implement all the provisions of the
Convention, and views the concerns and recommendations identified in the present concluding observations as requiring priority
attention between now and the submission of the next periodic report. Consequently, the Committee urges the State party to focus
on those areas in its implementation activities to report on action taken and results achieved in its next periodic report. It calls on the
State party to submit the present concluding observations and recommendations to all relevant ministries, to Parliament and to the
judiciary so as to ensure their full implementation.
11. While acknowledging the efforts taken by the State party to raise awareness of the Convention, including through training on
the mainstreaming of a gender dimension in the work of ministry officials and the publication of school manuals on the Convention,
the Committee is concerned that the Convention and its Optional Protocol are not widely known in Luxembourg. The Committee
also notes with concern the limited sensitization and training initiatives, especially for judicial personnel, on gender equality issues
and the provisions of the Convention.
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FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2012 REPORT
Political Rights Score: 1
Civil Liberties Score: 1
Luxembourg’s governing coalition agreed in June 2011 to loosen provisions of the country’s strict abortion laws, a measure that
was being finalized at year’s end. Meanwhile, the country struggled to adequately process and house a growing number of asylum
In the June 2009 parliamentary elections, the CSV captured 26 seats, while the LSAP took 13 seats, and the DP won 9 seats; three
other parties won the remaining 12 seats. Juncker remained prime minister for the 15th consecutive year—the longest tenure of any
EU head of government—and formed a coalition government with the LSAP in July.
Luxembourg has been criticized for its bank secrecy rules and was placed on the Organization for Economic Cooperation’s
(OECD) tax-haven grey list in 2009. Luxembourg signed several agreements regarding the sharing of tax information and was
removed from the list by the end of the year.
The budget deficit rose from just 0.7 percent of GDP in 2009 to a high of 2.2 percent in 2010. Proposed austerity measures
generated tension within the governing coalition and sparked strikes in the publically-funded healthcare system in 2010. In 2011, the
government introduced austerity measures intended to increase competitiveness. In December, after failed negotiations with unions,
the government unilaterally reduced the frequency of automatic inflation-based wage increases, a controversial move that
contradicted previous practices of consensus-building. Further reforms were planned for 2012.
Luxembourg is an electoral democracy. The head of state is the unelected Grand Duke Henri, whose powers are largely ceremonial.
The unicameral legislature, the Chamber of Deputies, consists of 60 members elected by proportional representation to five-year
terms. The legislature chooses the prime minister. Voting is compulsory for Luxembourg’s citizens. Citizens of EU countries may
vote in local and European elections in Luxembourg after six years’ residency but are not required to do so; residents from non-EU
countries may not vote. Foreigners constitute over a third of Luxembourg’s population.
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13 May 2011
Benelux agreement leaves Roma at risk of persecution in Kosovo
An agreement signed by the Benelux countries to enforce the removal of Roma and other members of minority communities to
Kosovo where they risk serious human rights violations, must be reversed, Amnesty International said today.
The agreement, signed by Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg, leaves Roma at risk of being forcibly returned to Kosovo, where
unemployment levels for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians often reach 97 per cent and access to basic healthcare and education is
“Kosovo has so far shown absolutely no willingness to make sure that members of minority communities who are forcibly
returned, are properly reintegrated in the community,” said Sian Jones, Amnesty International’s Balkan researcher.
“Without proper measures to address the severe discrimination faced by Roma in Kosovo, their removal there may lead to them
facing persecution. The Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg authorities must immediately halt these repatriations.”
A strategy to assist forced returnees with reintegration was introduced in Kosovo in 2010. However, many of the measures to help
reintegrate them - including enabling them to access education and healthcare - have yet to be put in place, making the return of the
At least 196 people from minority communities have already been forcibly returned to Kosovo in 2011, including 62 Roma and 120
Ashkali and Egyptians, as well as Serbs, and Albanians being returned to areas in which they are a minority.
The UN Refugee Agency has also listed these groups among those who should be eligible for continued international protection as
they face the risk of persecution or serious harm in Kosovo, including through discrimination.
Few receive any assistance on their return to Kosovo, meaning many also face problems in obtaining access to education,
healthcare, housing and social benefits.
In the absence of assistance about 50 per cent of forced returnees leave Kosovo again, according to Roma NGOs and international
organizations working in the area.
Discrimination against Roma in Kosovo is widespread and systematic, compounded by their perceived association with Kosovo
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Senegal: New Court to Try Chad Ex-Dictator in Senegal
Donors Should Support Plan to Try Hissène Habré
August 22, 2012
(Brussels) – The agreement signed between Senegal and the African Union (AU) on August 22, 2012, to establish a special court to
try the former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré, is an important step in the long campaign to bring him to justice, a coalition of
human rights groups said today.
Habré is accused of thousands of political killings and systematic torture when he ruled Chad, from 1982 to 1990. Habréhas been
living in exile in Senegal for more than 21 years but has yet to face justice there.
The new agreement calls for “Extraordinary African Chambers” to be created inside the existing Senegalese court structure in
Dakar. The chambers will have sections to handle investigations, trials, and appeals. The trial court and the appeals court will each
consist of two Senegalese judges and a president from another African country.
The chambers’ mandate will be to prosecute the person or persons most responsible for international crimes committed in Chad
between 1982 and 1990, including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and torture. It is expected, however, that only
Habré will be tried before the court.
In November 2010, after years of wrangling, Senegal and donor countries had agreed to a budget of €8.6 million (US$11.4 million)
for Habré’s trial in Senegal. However, in May 2011, Senegal walked out of negotiations with the AU over the planning of the trial.
Since nearly two years have elapsed since the donors’ initial pledges of funding, Senegal must seek newfunding commitments and
has indicated that it will do so rapidly. Senegal’s justice minister, Aminata Touré, has said that, unlike the previous government,
Senegal will not delay the start of proceedings until full funding has been obtained.
The commitments made in 2010 were by: Chad (2 billion CFA francs or US$3,743,000), the European Union (€2 million), Belgium
(€1 million), the Netherlands (€1 million), the African Union (US$1 million), Germany (€500,000), France (€300,000), and
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Asselborn the fourteenth summit of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie in Kinshasa
12-10-2012 - 13-10-2012
The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn visited Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of
the Congo, 12 and 13 October 2012 to participate in the fourteenth summit of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.
Asselborn with François Hollande In the wake of the vertices of Quebec and Montreux, the Kinshasa summit theme was
"Francophonie, environmental and economic challenges facing global governance." Founding member of the Organisation
internationale de la Francophonie ministerial involvement in the Grand Duchy at the summit reflects the desire to further strengthen
Luxembourg's political-diplomatic, economic and cultural relations with many other countries sharing the French language, and this
in accordance with human vision development advocated by the Francophonie.
In his speech, the Minister recalled that Asselborn beyond the sharing of the French language, the Francophonie is a community of
values and principles include notably democracy and respect for human rights.
He also discussed the situation in Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Regarding Mali, the Minister stressed that it is essential that the countries of the region, supported by ECOWAS, the African Union,
the UN and the Security Council in particular, as well as the EU, continue their joint efforts to provide a coherent response to even
reach a lasting solution to the challenges.
About the DRC, the Minister expressed his concern about the humanitarian crisis in the Kivus. He also expressed his conviction that
only a political solution based on dialogue between the DRC and Rwanda will be sustainable over the long term. Quoting one of the
fundamental values of the OIF, the Foreign Minister concluded his speech by saying that peace can not be achieved through
dialogue between peoples.
During the summit, the foreign minister of Luxembourg met many of his French counterparts as well as several Heads of State and
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2011 Annual Report
THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON RIGHTS OF GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG
Foreword by the President
As is the tradition, it's time to present the report of activities 2011 CCHR.
This report reflects the diversity of subjects that have occupied throughout the year 2011. In addition to new topics such as forced
marriages and convenience, human rights and cooperation, CCHR had to revisit the well-known cases, such as child protection and
status of applicants international protection to name just a few. Indeed, migration is and will remain a contentious issue in Europe.
Europe should adopt a more humane migration policy and asylum procedures based on the principles of human rights.
Another issue that is important to us and we strongly occupied is that the rights of persons with disabilities. Ratification by the
Government of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an important step in the promotion and
observance of the rights of persons with disabilities. CCHR will beyond the year 2011, focusing its efforts on the implementation of
the Convention at national level.
New challenges ahead: prison reform, reform of the Constitution, bioethics, these are topics that will attract our attention in the
The year 2011 was also the opportunity to pay tribute to our founder and Chairman Emeritus, who died in 2009. CCHR has
launched a competition in schools to win the Prize Nic Klecker, with the aim to arouse an abiding interest in youth for human rights.
CCHR continues to maintain close relations with partner institutions around the world, the High Commissioner of the United
Nations Human Rights as well as the Council of Europe. Around the world, we have witnessed acts in favor, but also against
human rights. The fight must continue.
We hope that the Government will finally respond favorably to our request for additional human and financial resources, without
which we can not carry out all the tasks that have been entrusted. We strongly reiterate our proposal for the creation of a House of
Human Rights, a symbol of the important role that Luxembourg attaches to promoting and defending human rights.
I want to thank all members for their support and unwavering commitment throughout the year. A special thank you to our office
for the continued dedication to the service of the Commission.
Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Human Rights
the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
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National Aktiounskomitee Atomkraaft géint
MEETING / CONFERENCE:
The radiological impact of the AKW CATTENOM the Moselle
Thursday, 22 September 2011
Christian KÜPPERS, Öko-Institut Darmstadt - range Nuclear Engineering & Plant Safety, since 2005 in the "Franco-German
Commission for issues of safety of nuclear installations" (DFK)
6 months ago Fukushima has reminded us that nuclear power is 100% controlled in any country. The ongoing discussions are
therefore aimed at a security check of normal operation and emergency systems. The nuclear power but one must not only reduce
the risk of a radiation accident! The German Childhood Cancer Study (KiKK 2007) has, for example a clear correlation between the
incidence of leukemia in young children and their proximity to nuclear power plants down.
Also, the problem of over thousands of bright unresolved nuclear waste for 60 years. Nuclear reactors should therefore also in
normal operation everyday negative effects on humans and wildlife. Focus of the presentation by Christian Kueppers therefore the
radiological consequences of a nuclear power plant on the water, using the example of the NPP Cattenom and the Luxembourg
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Heir Apparent since 11 November 1981
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Vice Prime Minister since 31 July 2004