The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), an institution set up by the Council of Europe, has just published its fifth report on the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. In it, the Commission analyses a number of recent events, reports on its findings on the situation regarding human rights, and makes a number of recommendations to the authorities.
The ECRI notes that there has been some progress in certain areas since the publication of the fourth report on the Grand Duchy. The Commission approves the forthcoming opening of a House of Human Rights which will bring together several organisations, including the Consultative Committee on Human Rights, the Centre for Equal Treatment, and the Ombuds-Comité fir d'Rechter vum Kand.
The Luxembourg authorities are also planning to extend criminal protection from hate-speech to include transgender people. The media and politicians are very rarely guilty of hate-speech. Furthermore, very few cases of racist or homophobic violence were brought to the ECRI's attention during the observation period, and the courts have a firm stand with regard to hate-speech.
The ECRI also highlighted the positive fact that pre-school education is particularly beneficial for the children of immigrant parents, and that it is both compulsory and free. An awareness campaign about hate-speech was also launched at the start of the 2016-2017 school year.
Despite the progress made, the ECRI notes a number of weak areas, and makes some recommendations. It observed underlying xenophobia on the Internet, inefficiency on the part of the body meant to promote equality, and the lack of a new plan of action in favour of integration.
To correct the shortcomings, the ECRI makes two priority recommendations. Firstly, the Luxembourg authorities should quickly adopt a new plan of action in favour of integration; secondly, the authorities are encouraged to adopt new legislation on changing the first name of transgender people and on recognition of their gender.
The Government of the Grand Duchy welcomes the adoption of the ECRI's fifth report, and appreciates its constructive dialogue with the Commission.
(article written by the editorial team of the portal luxembourg.lu)