Towards zero tolerance: How can we spot it and how do we defend ourselves against it?

What is discrimination?

Due to its diversity, Luxembourg obviously feels concerned by discrimination issues, and has deemed it necessary to anticipate possible risks by introducing a legal plan to protect citizens both in public places and in the workplace.

-          discrimination (latin discriminatio, -onis, separation): Discrimination is the practice of treating one person or group of people less fairly or less well than other people or groups. [1]

What does the law say?

The law of 28 November 2006 on equal treatment condemns discrimination. This applies to all public or private, natural or legal persons, including public bodies. It strictly prohibits any form of direct or indirect discrimination based on religion or beliefs, disability, age, sexual orientation, membership or non-membership, actual or supposed, of a race or ethnic group.

The scope of application of the law also includes workplaces and living places, schools and the public space in general.

In its 2016 annual report, the Centre pour l’égalité de traitement (Centre for Equal Treatment - CET) revealed that it received 115 discrimination case files, of which over half (54%) were submitted by men, and 34% by women. The remaining 12% come from organisations and associations, or on the basis of self-referral. Most (25%) of the people were aged between 31 and 40, 9.6% were between 18 and 30 and 5.2% over the age of 60. Finally, 67% of files were from citizens of the European Union, 44% of whom were Luxembourgers.

What can we do?

Although it is a citizen's duty to report cases of discrimination when they occur, many people directly or indirectly affected refuse to talk, or do not even realise that they have been discriminated against. This is why it's important to know the law and – where necessary – which public authorities we can turn to in order to ask for support.

Who can you turn to?

  • Centre pour l'égalité de traitement (Centre for Equal Treatment - CET)

The CET was created by the above-mentioned law of 28 November 2006. The CET carries out its work completely independently and its purpose is to promote, analyse and monitor equal treatment between all persons without discrimination based on race or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion or beliefs, disability and age.

  • Chambre des Salariés - CSL (Chamber of Employees)

The CSL was established by the law of 13 May 2008. The powers conferred on it aim to defend professional interests and represent its members. Any person working in Luxembourg, other than civil servants and public employees, is represented by the CSL.

The website discrimination.csl.lu contains a section entirely dedicated to discrimination at work. As well as a clear and concise definition, it also states the legal framework and means of action.

  • Luxembourg Reception and Integration Agency (OLAI);

The OLAI, a public agency under the authority of the Ministry of the Family, Integration and the Greater Region, has the legal capacities to support the reception and integration of foreigners in the Grand Duchy. Its legal provisions include the implementation of a national plan for integration and the fight against discrimination. Each year, an interministerial committee on integration, in consultation with civil society, establishes priorities to ensure a better integration policy.

  • National Reference Center for the Promotion of Affective and Sexual Health - CESAS

The Cesas aims to promote emotional and sexual health at the national level, through information, awareness, and training. Created as part of the national program "Promotion of emotional and sexual health initiated and supported by four ministries: Ministry of National Education, Childhood and Youth, Ministry of Equal Opportunities, Ministry of Family, Integration and the Greater Region and Ministry of Health, the center advises on
various themes, including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

[1] Definition taken from collinsdictionary.com

  • Updated 31-07-2018