There is one detention centre in Luxembourg with a capacity of 88 persons, which is located close to the international airport. Furthermore, at the airport is a waiting zone that can be used to detain persons up to a maximum of 48 hours. The detention centre has been created only recently, it has opened on 22 August 2011. Before then, third-country nationals have been detained in prison (Luxembourg Penitentiary Centre). In 2004, the former government announced to built a separate detention centre after national NGOs and associations as well as international networks and organisations had widely criticised the fact to detain prisoners and persons in administrative detention in the same facility. An incident in January 2006, where a fire was set by detainees in administrative detention in the prison, led to a further public outcry and to the acceleration of the establishment of the law on the construction of the detention centre. Compared to the situation in the prison, the conditions for the detainees in the new detention centre have improved substantially, partly due to the specialised staff (such as psychosocial staff) and a better support structure (such as more activities and more freedom of movement within their unit).
The legal framework which regulates detention and alternatives to detention in Luxembourg is laid down in the amended Law of 29 August 2008 on the Free Movement of Persons and Immigration, the amended Law of 5 May 2006 on the Right of Asylum and Complementary Forms of Protection, the Law of 28 May 2009 concerning the Establishment and Organisation of the Detention Centre and the Grand-Ducal Regulation of 17 August 2011 laying down the Conditions and Practical Arrangements of the Detention Centre Regime.