Opinion The Human Rights Committee criticizes the draft law on expulsion

The Human Rights Advisory Commission (CCDH) has criticized the expulsion bill. This is a very sensitive topic and you should be careful.

Expulsion (fr .: “injonction d’éloignement”, see also info box) is a law that allows the police to prohibit a person from being in a certain place. The reasons for this may be different. In Luxembourg, the main problem is the homeless who sleep in the door at night, which disturbs or prevents residents from entering the building. Officially, it is about ‘garantie d’accès pour le public aux bâtiments privés et publics’.

The Human Rights Commission has just submitted an expert opinion for the bill. Opinions from other institutions such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Council of State have already been received. The commission describes itself at the Friday morning press conference as “a union of people who face discrimination.”

The CCDH criticizes that many parts of the text are too vague and various terms are too vague. As an example, CCDDH attorney Anamarija Tunjic cites the terms “block” and “obstruct”. The law doesn’t say exactly what they mean. CCDH president Gilbert Pregno is also concerned about the question of what happens to people who have to leave the site. Is it enough for them to move away from the entrance to the house and set up their camp half a meter away?

Freedom of movement is a human right

In the eyes of the CCDH, the question of when the police can record an individual’s personal data has also not been sufficiently clarified. The CCDH wishes this to happen only when absolutely necessary. The CCDH reminds you that freedom of movement is a human right. This can be limited by sending, but only if it is proportional and all other options have failed. Measures should be taken to prevent abuse.

If increasing subjective insecurity is an ulterior motive of policy makers, the CCDH cautions that dismissal cannot fix the situation. The subjective feelings of part of society cannot justify any measure that has a negative impact on human rights.

A survey in Bonneweg and Bahnhofsviertel in 2021 would ask for ways to increase the feeling of security. Mention was made of better lighting, the presence and cooperation of social actors and police patrols, ‘recalls Tunjic.

Pregno points out that those affected are often sick or socially disadvantaged – drug addicts or the homeless. CCDH demands to expand its low-threshold offering to help people. Dismissal targets the drug user rather than the dealer. CCDH regrets that it increases stigma towards these individuals without addressing the root causes of the problem.

Rotate 180 degrees

When the opposition and the police union asked for release four years ago, the government was staunchly opposed to it, recalls Tunjic. Now there has been a 180-degree shift in government policy. She is concerned about the context in which the measure is now to be introduced, as it has been presented as part of a package of measures to fight drug-related crime and as a way to fight drug dealers and users. “We find that the government is increasingly using repressive measures and is not focusing enough on the economic and social causes of it,” he says.

Tunjic notes that, as part of the same package of measures, a law has been presented to simplify the expulsion of certain third-country nationals “illegally” staying in Luxembourg. “We wonder if there is a connection between these texts and their intention,” he says. There is a suspicion that the eviction could be used as an excuse to check the identity of people in order to track down “illegal” immigrants.

Pregno shows sympathy for residents of buildings who do not know how to enter their home because someone is blocking the entrance. “I wouldn’t be happy either,” he says. But it promotes a human perspective and the tolerance and acceptance of other people.

The Ministry of Homeland Security, led by Minister Henri Kox (“déi gréng”), responded to the press conference of the Consultative Human Rights Commission with a press release on Friday afternoon. It emphasizes that the bill is not really a referral, but rather cites: “A measure to guarantee the freedom of movement of all people and to provide police resources to the person (en) who impedes / hinders that freedom.” This action would be undertaken in cooperation with community services responsible for providing adequate care.
The Ministry also emphasizes that out of 26 measures in the government’s catalog of measures, only three are repressive. Prevention is a priority for the minister and the police. “Police are actively working with community actors to care for and prevent stigmatization of vulnerable people,” the letter reads. big

Yves Greis

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