In 2018, the government of Luxembourg drafted amendments to the law Nº 6961 aimed at strengthening the protection of classified information. This was to be done by incorporating a security clearance system, mainly implemented by the National Safety Authority. In 2019, the Consultative Human Rights Commission of Luxembourg published an opinion on how the draft negatively impacted the right to freedom of expression and access to information, as well as to the protection of personal data. The NHRI expressed concerns that the law does not provide an exception for journalists or whistleblowers who report information about threats or harm to the public interest. The opinion provided recommendations to the government to ensure a human rights compliant revision of the draft legislation, one in which whistleblowers, informants and journalists are sufficiently protected. Additionally, the opinion advised on setting out clear modalities for the collection/use of personal data and avoiding excessive interference with privacy. The opinion took European regulations, European Court of Human Rights case law, and Council of Europe standards into account.
The Consultative Human Rights Commission of Luxembourg took part in an event organised by the government to gather input for the development of a project for human rights defenders. Named Shelter Cities, it aims to set up a procedure for the reception of individual human rights defenders in Luxembourg for a predetermined rest period. This would be done via the protectdefenders.eu website. Since the abovementioned initial meeting, there has not been any noticeable progress. However, the government reiterated its commitment to the project “shelter cities” in its candidacy pledge for the UN Human Rights Council 2022-2024.
A similar project, ShelterCity, is being implemented in the Netherlands and operates in cooperation with Justice and Peace Netherlands, Dutch cities, and local organisations.