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Racism main factor in discrimination cases in Luxembourg

Racism main factor in discrimination cases in Luxembourg

by Yannick LAMBERT 2 min. 03.05.2022 From our online archive
Majority of reports received by government body CET in 2021 show racism, not disability, was the central motive for the first time
A Black Lives Matter protest in Luxembourg in 2020
A Black Lives Matter protest in Luxembourg in 2020
Photo credit: LW Archives

Racism was the main factor in the majority of cases lodged with Luxembourg's anti-discrimination body last year, surpassing complaints about prejudice based on disability for the first time, the agency said in its annual report on Tuesday.

A total of 60 cases - almost a quarter of the 245 reports handled overall by the Centre for Equal Treatment (CET) - in 2021 centred on race or ethnic origin, according to the report. 

Racism was the dominant feature in the bulk of cases, well ahead of other motives, the statistics showed, with 48 complaints centred on disability, 43 on gender, 10 on age, 9 on sexual orientation and 9 on religion.

That marks a reversal of the trends seen in 2020, when disability was the most cited grounds for discrimination in around a quarter of cases, followed by ethnic origin and gender.   

The overall number of cases filed with the CET, an independent body created by parliament in 2006, hit a historic high for the second consecutive year, overtaking the previous record of 203 submitted in 2020. 

There were 16 cases which were classified as falling into more than one category of discrimination and a further 50 to which a specific factor could not be attributed, the CET said.

Half of all cases - 124 - received by the CET last year were resolved, with 19 disputes still ongoing. Claimants withdrew their complaints in 55 cases, while no discrimination could be proven in a further 41 instances.

The Centre previously said it regrets not having any binding powers of intervention with regards to institutions and private individuals who refuse to cooperate.   

The group also analysed adverts for job vacancies throughout the course of 2021, concluding that 82 contained some form of prejudice, with the vast majority discriminating on the basis of gender, the report said.  

The CET's findings come just weeks after a United Nations report concluded that Luxembourg's efforts to tackle racism are being undermined by a lack of public data on the issue, despite a noted increase in reports of online attacks against refugees and asylum seekers.    

In December 2020, the CET revealed that one in five Luxembourg residents reported having been the victim of at least one act of discrimination in the previous three years.   

Luxembourg has failed to fully live up to its claim of being a multicultural and open country, lawmakers said two years ago, during a debate about racism in the wake of the George Floyd protests.  

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