Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1987

Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary
form of government. The Grand Duke is the Chief of State.
Luxembourg has a highly developed, industrialized economy
based on free enterprise, and its people have a high standard
of living.
Human rights are respected at home, and Luxembourg actively
promotes human rights internationally. It continues efforts
to treat its relatively large foreign population fairly and to
engage labor unions in the industrial decisionmaking process.
Residents of Luxembourg enjoy fair and efficient judicial and
penal systems. Individual human rights are provided for by
the Constitution and protected in practice.
Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including
Freedom from:
     a. Political Killing
Killing for political reasons has not taken place in
Luxembourg. The mysterious bombings which occurred in 1985
and 1986 were not repeated in 1987. These bombings ceased
without any group claiming responsibility, and there is no
evidence to link them to any terrorist group.
     b. Disappearance
There were no known abductions or hostage-taking cases.
     c. Torture or Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Torture is prohibited by law and does not occur. Prisoners
are treated fairly, have free choice of attorneys, are allowed
visitors, and are housed in modern facilities.
     d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile or Forced Labor
Due process is provided for by law and observed in practice.
Luxembourg law is a composite of local practice, legal
tradition, and foreign systems--French, Belgian, and German.
Any person detained by authorities must be charged no later
than 24 hours after arrest. Preventive detention does not
exist, but persons may be incarcerated pending trial, if so
ordered by a judge. Exile is not imposed, nor is there forced
     e. Denial of Fair Public Trial
Luxembourg's judiciary is independent and free from executive
or military interference. Military courts exist, but civilians
are not subject to their jurisdiction. The right of defendants
to have legal counsel, at public expense if necessary, is
assured. Charges are formally and clearly stated. Defendants
have the right to be present at trial and are presumed innocent
until proven guilty. There are no political prisoners.
     f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home or Correspondence
Luxembourg law and customs are based on regard for personal
freedom. The State, political organizations, and other
organized entities do not arbitrarily intrude into the private
lives of Luxembourg residents. Police must have a warrant,
issued by the judiciary, to enter a private home. Statutes
prohibit other violations of the home such as demolition, the
sealing of doors and windows, and electronic surveillance.
Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:
     a. Freedom of Speech and Presso
The Constitution provides for freedom of speech and the press,
and it is respected in practice. Except for restrictions on
pornography, there is no censorship of the media. Opposition
viewpoints are freely discussed, and criticism of the
Government is tolerated. Academic freedom is respected.
Print media are privately owned and controlled. The broadcast
industry is privately owned, except for 4 percent which is
indirectly controlled by the French Government. It operates
independently from the Luxembourg Government. There were no
incidents in 1987 of any group attempting to inhibit the free
expression of opinion in Luxembourg.
     b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
Freedom of peaceful assembly and association is assured
constitutionally and respected in practice. There are no
limitations on orderly public meetings. All groups enjoy the
right of free assembly.
Unions are independent of the Government and of political
party control. They have the right to organize, negotiate,
and strike, but strikes are rare. Unions participate in a
tripartite arrangement with government and management in all
decisions affecting the economy and worker welfare. The two
largest industrial unions are linked to, but organized
independently from, Luxembourg's Socialist Party and Christian
Social Party respectively. A large percentage of the work
force is unionized, but membership is not mandatory. Unions
and professional groups maintain unrestricted contact with
international bodies in their fields.
     c. Freedom of Religion
There is no state religion in Luxembourg, and everyone is free
to practice the religion of his choice. Statistically,
Luxembourg is about 90 percent Roman Catholic. This faith is
deeply intertwined with the conservative culture of the
country; for example, there is no government funding for
     d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation
There are no restrictions on movement within the country
(including changing residence or workplace), foreign travel,
or emigration and repatriation. There are no barriers to
immigrants from European Community (EC) countries, except for
Greece, Spain, and Portugal. While these countries are in
transition towards accession to the EC, their citizens must
obtain work permits to reside in Luxembourg. Such work
permits are readily obtained. Since 1970 Luxembourg has had a
large Portuguese population. The status of Portuguese citizens
in Luxembourg is defined by bilateral agreements and the terms
of Portugal's accession to the EC in January 1986.
Although Luxembourg is not a country of first application for
refugees, government officials believe that on a per capita
basis relatively large numbers (notably Vietnamese) have been
admitted. Once admitted, refugees benefit from state social
programs and are well treated.
Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Gonvernment
Luxembourg's Government is democratically elected. All
Luxembourg citizens 18 years of age and older may participate
in national elections for the Chamber of Deputies, held every
5 years, and local elections, held every 6 years. Voting is
by secret ballot with multiple candidates for most positions.
Luxembourg's large foreign population (26 percent) does not
have the right to vote, although it enjoys the rights of free
speech, assembly, movement, and religion. It may exert
considerable influence on the political process indirectly by
joining labor unions or other organizations. Opposition
groups, including organized political parties, function openly
and freely, without fear of government repression.
Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights
There have been no requests for the investigation of human
rights abuses in Luxembourg. The International Committee of
the Red Cross, Amnesty International, and the U.N. High
Commissioner for Refugees have representatives in Luxembourg.
Luxembourg has consistently supported international and
nongovernmental investigation of alleged human rights
Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Language, or Social Status
Discrimination based on the above factors is prohibited by
law. Adequate food, shelter, health care, and education are
available to all inhabitants regardless of race, religion,
sex, ethnic background, or political opinion. Women in
increasing numbers participate in the political and business
communities of Luxembourg, although few women in Luxembourg
are senior executives.
The right to work is guaranteed to every Luxembourger by the
Constitution. The employment of children under the age of 16
is prohibited. The normal workweek is 40 hours, spread over 5
days. Work on Sunday is generally prohibited, except in
continuous process industries (steel and chemical) and for
certain persons such as maintenance and security personnel.
Working conditions are exemplary.
Worker representatives are required in all businesses of 15 or
more employees. In businesses with over 150 employees, 50
percent of the joint works councils are elected by the
employees. In businesses with more than 1,000 employees.
one-third of the membership of the boards of directors must be
employees or their elected representatives.
A safe working environment is mandated by law and enforced
through a vigorous inspection system, which can impose severe
penalties. Luxembourg's health and safety standards are among
the highest in the world