Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF


Thursday, 24 January 2013 (Afternoon)

(Disclaimer: The following brief is intended for use of the information media and is not an official record.  The note provides a brief factual summary of the UPR Working Group meeting with the State under review and does not cover all points addressed.  An official summary of the meeting can be found in the Working Group report.)

State under review

Represented by eight-member delegation headed by Nicolas Schmit, Minister of Labour, Employment and Immigration.


To access national report, compilation of UN information, and summary of stakeholders’ information, visit the Luxembourg page on the UPR website.

Troika *

Japan, Peru, Romania.

Opening statement by State under review

Few points raised in the  opening statement of State under review:
(See full statement on the Luxembourg page on UPR Extranet )

  • While noting that since the 1st of January Luxembourg has been a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, the head of delegation said his country remain convinced that there could be no development without security, nor was it possible to enjoy either without respect for human rights; it was in this spirit that the national report and the UPR of Luxembourg was prepared;
  • Luxembourg organized two consultative meetings in 2012 for the preparation of its UPR - the first for NGOs and civil society and the second for State agencies with competence in the area of human rights;
  • Responding to a question posed in advance, the head of delegation said all persons recognized as refugees were entitled to the system of social support known as the “guaranteed minimum income” as soon as they were awarded refugee status in Luxembourg;
  • In terms of treaty body reporting, Luxembourg submitted its delayed reports to the CERD in December 2012;
  • As regard accession to international instruments, the State would finalizing ratification preparations to accede to the OP to the ICESCR, as well as the Convention on the rights of migrant workers and the Third OP to the CRC;
  • Luxembourg was also taking necessary measures to ratify international instruments it has already signed, including the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, the OPCAT, the 1st and 2nd OPs to the CRC and the Convention on enforced disappearances;
  • The head of delegation also noted that Luxembourg was the fourth country to ratify the Rome ICC and all its amendments;
  • On the issue of asylum seekers, Luxembourg ratified the Geneva Convention on the status of refugees and abided by the principles of non-refoulement;  
  • The change in the legal age for marriage was currently being considered by parliament with a view to raising the age limit as was the issue of same sex marriages;
  • In the area of immigration, nationals of third counties in an irregular situation may obtain a residents permit as long as they reside in Luxembourg for a minimum of nine months;
  • The delegation note that some 525,000 resided in the country, some 40 per cent of which were foreigners; another 150,000 were frontier workers who crossed into Luxembourg every day; nevertheless, instances of racism in the country were rare, although constant efforts were required to allow for social integration of the people of various nationalities in Luxembourg;
  • In conclusion, the Minister indicated that Luxembourg has donated one per cent of its GDP to international aid earmarked for development countries.


In total 61 States participated in the dialogue:  23 HRC members and 38 observers  (Statements available on the Luxembourg page on UPR Extranet).

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • The possibility of obtaining double nationality per law and the updating of the Nationality Act;
  • Efforts and progress in the area of gender equality;
  • Measures to promote and protect religious freedom;
  • Amendments to the law on freedom of expression in the media;
  • The ratification of the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and its OP and also the OPCAT;
  • The establishment of a national commission on human rights.

Issues and Questions

Issues and questions raised by the Working Group included, among others:

  • To further facilitate migrant’s access to basic social services;
  • Measures to ensure the human rights of foreign children and children of asylum seekers were respected;
  • Efforts to strengthen national policies to combat sexual exploitation and human trafficking;
  • Steps to tackle discrimination and raise awareness in that regard;
  • Measures to further promote gender equality and the legal age of marriage;
  • Accession to international instruments and treaty body reporting obligations.


States participating in the dialogue posed a series of recommendations to Luxembourg.  These pertained to the following issues, among others

  • To take measures to reduce the detention time for foreigners under expulsion order as much as possible;
  • To increase available prison facilities to reduce overcrowding and ensure adequate capacity to enforce prison sentences;
  • To further strengthen measures to grant foreign children and children of asylum seekers equal access to the same standards of services in the field of education;
  • To consider instituting programmes to further facilitate migrant’s access to basic social services and just conditions to work;
  • To conduct information campaigns to familiarise the public and minority groups on the law and legislation relating to racial discrimination;
  • To vigorously prosecute and pursue jail sentences for convicted trafficking offenders and to strengthen anti-trafficking measures;
  • To update the 1996 Action Plan to combat sexual exploitation of children and ensure its effective implementation;
  • To raise the minimum legal age of marriage for women to correspond to the minimum legal age for men and to abolish the period during which a widow or divorced man must wait before she could remarry;
  • To make concerted efforts to improve gender equality in the workforce; 
  • To take steps to ensure that all persons born in Luxembourg obtained nationality;
  • To take steps to ensure that reports to treaty bodies were submitted in a timely fashion;
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: Convention on the rights of migrant workers; the Convention on enforced disappearances, the OP to ICESCR, the OP to the CRC on child prostitution and pornography, and ILO Conventions 169 (indigenous people) and 189 (domestic workers).

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Luxembourg is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 29 January 2013.

The troikas are a group of three States selected through a drawing of lots who serve as rapporteurs and who are charged with preparing the report of the Working Group on the country review with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR. 

Media contact: Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711, rgomez@ohchr.org.