The State Department web site below is a permanent electronic archive of information released prior to January 20, 2001.  Please see for material released since President George W. Bush took office on that date.  This site is not updated so external links may no longer function.  Contact us with any questions about finding information.

NOTE: External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.

Department Seal


TITLE:  SAN MARINO HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1993                           
DATE:  JANUARY 31, 1994

                     SAN MARINO

San Marino is a democratic multiparty republic with a 
population of 24,000.  Legislative authority is vested in a 
unicameral parliament, the Great and General Council (GGC).  
Executive authority is exercised by the 12-member Congress of 
State (the cabinet), composed of 2 Captains Regent and 10 
members chosen by the GGC.  The Captains Regent are assisted by 
three Secretaries of State (Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs, 
and Finance) and by several additional secretaries.  The 
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has come to assume many 
of the prerogatives of a Prime Minister.

Police forces are centralized in one organization, the Civil 
Police, which has three branches, including an investigative 
branch.  Security and ceremonial representation are performed 
by two military corps, the Gendarmerie and the "Guardie di 
Rocca."  These forces are controlled by and responsive to 
elected government officials.

The principal economic activities are tourism, farming, and 
light manufacturing.  Tourism, a vital seasonal industry, 
provides nearly half of the country's revenues.  In addition to 
income, corporate, and sales taxes, the Government derives most 
of its revenue from the sale of coins and postage stamps to 
collectors throughout the world and from payments of an annual 
budget subsidy by the Italian Government under the terms of the 
Republic's Basic Treaty with Italy.

Individual human rights are provided for in the Legal Code of 
the Republic and respected in practice.  San Marino's 
legislature and government have demonstrated a strong interest 
in and commitment to the protection of human rights, but some 
laws, in particular with regard to transmission of citizenship, 
discriminate against women.


Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

Neither government forces nor opposition organizations engaged 
in political or extrajudicial killings.

     b.  Disappearance

There were no cases of disappearance or abduction.

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

Torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or 
punishment are prohibited by law, and there were no reports of 

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

There were no reports of arbitrary arrests, detentions, or 

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

The rights of the accused are protected by procedural 
safeguards which are guaranteed by law and observed in 
practice.  Judicial arrest warrants are required.

Detainees may not be held more than a few days without being 
formally charged or released.  Although there is no legally 
prescribed limit on pretrial detention, San Marino's uncrowded 
criminal dockets ensure that the courts hear most cases within 
days or weeks.  The procedural law grants trial judges 
considerable discretion in this regard, but there were no 
indications in 1993 of any abuse of this authority.  The right 
to a public trial and legal counsel is provided.  The accused 
may request that a court-appointed attorney be provided at no 
cost.  There is no incommunicado detention, and the accused may 
not be compelled to answer questions or make statements without 
having an attorney present.

Judicial authority is turned over in part to Italian 
magistrates in both criminal and civil cases.  Cases of minor 
importance are handled by a local conciliation judge.  Appeals 
go, in the first instance, to an Italian judge residing in 
Italy.  The final court of review is the Council of Twelve, a 
group of judges chosen for 6-year terms (four replaced every 2 
years) from among the members of San Marino's Great and General 

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 

The concept of privacy of the home is respected by the 
authorities.  Judicial warrants are required for searches.  The 
privacy of correspondence, including telephonic communications, 
is also protected.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

Freedom of speech and press is respected.  There is no 
government censorship.  While there are no daily newspapers, 
periodicals are published irregularly by the Government, 
political parties, labor unions, and business associations.  A 
private press publishes a weekly bulletin with local news.  
Such news is also available in local editions of several 
Italian dailies.

Daily television news coverage of San Marino is broadcast by a 
private Italian television station located in Italy.  This 
program is financed both through advertising and a contribution 
by the San Marino Government.  A recent Italy-San Marino 
bilateral agreement established a new television station 
(Telesanmarino) financed in equal shares by the San Marino 
Government and Italy's public television network.  This station 
began operations in March.  The television portion of San 
Marino Radio-Television broadcasts 3 hours of fiction and 
special programs a day, generally provided by the Italian 
government-owned RAI-TV Corporation.  The radio station 
broadcasts news every hour, 12 hours a day, plus music and 
locally produced programs.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

There is freedom of peaceful assembly.  In order to hold a 
rally or demonstration, a San Marino citizen must inform the 
police.  No permits are required unless parking areas are to be 
used.  Permits are routinely granted.

Freedom of association is respected, as is academic freedom.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

Freedom of religion is respected.  The majority of the 
population is Roman Catholic.  Other denominations are entitled
to practice their faiths and to hold religious services.  
Foreign clergy are free to perform their duties.

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

Foreign travel, emigration and repatriation are freedoms 
enjoyed by all citizens.  San Marino is not a signatory to the 
1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, although 
officials on several occasions have expressed the country's 
intention to accede to the Convention.  Although San Marino 
does not formally offer asylum to refugees, a few individuals 
have been given de facto asylum by being permitted to reside 
and work there.  Refugees resettled in San Marino and other 
foreigners are eligible to apply for citizenship only after 30 
years of residence.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

Legislative authority is vested in a unicameral parliament, the 
Great and General Council (GGC), consisting of 60 members who 
normally are elected to serve 5-year terms.  The Council is 
also the body that would consider any basic changes to the 
system of government.  Any group of 150 San Marinese citizens 
may petition the GGC to propose a new law.  In the week 
following installation of the Captains Regent, any San Marinese 
citizen may approach the Captains Regent at a special open 
forum to request the examination of any subject whatsoever.  
The Captains Regent are obliged by centuries-old custom to take 
up that subject in the GGC during their term in office.

Executive authority is exercised by the 12-member Congress of 
State (the cabinet), composed of 2 Captains Regent and 10 
members chosen by the GGC.  The Captains Regent are elected by 
the Council from among its members for 6-month terms.  Their 
functions are largely honorary, although they also preside over 
meetings of the Council and the Congress and are empowered to 
propose legislation and to represent San Marino in its foreign 
relations.  The Captains Regent are assisted by three 
Secretaries of State (Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs, and 
Finance) and by several additional secretaries entrusted with 
specific portfolios.

The Congress of State is composed of executives who head the 
various administrative departments of the Government.  These 
posts are divided among the parties that form the coalition 
government.  The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has 
come to assume many of the prerogatives of a prime minister.

Membership in the GGC is based on proportional representation 
and is selected from nominee lists submitted by the political 
parties.  Voting is open to all citizens 18 years of age or 
older.  Women gained the right to vote in the early 1960's, 
voting in national elections for the first time in 1964.

Elections in San Marino are free and fair.  Elections are held 
every 5 years unless the GGC votes to dissolve itself and hold 
early elections.  Six parties are represented in the 
parliament.  General elections, held in May, confirmed the 
Christian Democratic Party (DCS) and the Socialist Party (PSS) 
coalition which has governed since March 1992.  As in recent 
years, the Government offered to pay 75 percent of the travel 
costs for approximately 6,000 citizens living abroad to return 
to San Marino to vote in the election.  There have been no 
impediments to women participating in government or politics 
since the passage of a 1973 law eliminating all restrictions.  
In 1974 the first woman was elected to the GGC.  Since then, 
women have served in the Council as Secretary of State for 
Internal Affairs and as Captain Regent.  Women's branches of 
the political parties have all been integrated into the 
mainstream party organizations, and women hold important 
positions in the various parties.

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

There are no domestic human rights organizations, although 
there are no government impediments to the formation of such 
organizations.  The Government has declared itself open to 
investigations of alleged abuses by outsiders, but there have 
been no known requests of such a nature from international 

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language or Social Status

Discrimination based on race, sex, religion, disability, 
language, or social status is prohibited by the law and 
generally not practiced, but some vestiges of legal and 
societal discrimination against women remain.


Several laws provide specifically for equality of women and 
equal pay.  In practice, there is no discrimination in pay or 
working conditions.  All careers, including military and police 
as well as the highest public offices, are open to women.  A 
San Marinese woman who marries a foreigner may not transmit 
citizenship to her husband or children, although a San Marinese 
man who marries a foreigner may transmit citizenship to both 
wife and children.

Some aspects of social and traditional discrimination against 
women remain.  However, women recently have entered in 
significant numbers into fields previously dominated by men, 
including law and medicine.  At present, there are no reports 
of discrimination cases brought to court by San Marinese women.

Violence against women is unusual, and women are protected by 
law in these cases.  After the passage of favorable laws by the 
GGC in the 1970's and 1980's, a National Commission on Women's 
Rights in the Law was disbanded as it was believed there was no 
further need for it.


An October 1992 law reforming the judicial system provided for 
the creation of a separate juvenile court, which was being 
organized in 1993.

A special service to fight child abuse, which is part of the 
state medicare system, has been active since 1974.  The service 
provides for foster care of children separated from their 
families by the local tribunal.  The service has had a total of 
14 cases since 1982.  The San Marino budget devoted over 1 
percent of its 1994 budget to this program.

     People With Disabilities

In 1990 the Parliament issued a general law to safeguard the 
rights and promote the social integration of disabled people, 
requiring Parliament to prepare legislation on a list of 
specific issues.  In May 1991, the GGC passed legislation 
regulating and encouraging the hiring of people with 
disabilities.  A bill passed in September 1992 established a 
2-year period to review architectural barriers to the 
handicapped in existing buildings and required that all new 
buildings have no such barriers.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

By law, all workers in San Marino (except the military but 
including police forces) are free to form and join unions.  
There are two trade union federations: the Democratic 
Federation of San Marinese Workers (affiliated with the 
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions), which has 
about 2,500 workers, and the General Federation of Labor with 
about 2,400 workers.  Union members represent approximately 50 
percent of the country's work force (10,000 San Marinese, or 
12,000 including Italian workers).

Trade unions are independent from the government.  Formally, 
they are also independent from political parties.  However, 
political parties have close ties with and exercise strong 
influence on trade unions.

Except for the military establishment, all categories of 
workers have the right to strike, including the civil police.  
No strikes have occurred in at least the last 4 years.

Unions may freely join international labor federations.  Since 
1961 trade unions have been legally recognized by a law which 
sets the minimum conditions (for example, the minimum number of 
members and affiliated labor federations) for their 

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

Collective bargaining is recognized and protected by law.  The 
law prohibits antiunion discrimination by employers, and 
effective mechanisms exist (including reinstatement of workers 
fired for union activities) to resolve complaints.  Collective 
bargaining is freely practiced throughout the country--the 
collective bargaining agreements are published in the 
Government's bulletin and have the force of law.  Negotiations 
are freely conducted, and the presence of government officials 
(usually from the Labor and Industry Departments) is often 
requested by the unions and the employers' association.  For 
the last several years, all complaints have been resolved 
amicably by a "conciliatory committee" composed of judges and 
government officials.

There are no export processing zones.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

Forced or compulsory labor is prohibited by law and does not 
exist in practice.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The minimum working age of 16 years is strictly enforced by the 
Ministry of Labor and Cooperation, and there are no exceptions.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

The legal minimum wage assures a decent living for a worker and 
his or her family.  In November 1993 the minimum wage was 
approximately $1,000 (1,637,868 lire) per month.  According to 
trade unions, wages are generally higher than the minimum wage.

The legal workweek in the public administration is 36 hours.  
In industry and private business, it is 37 1/2 hours.  At least 
24 hours a week are dedicated to rest for all categories of 
workers.  Trade unions report no problems on this issue. 
According to trade unions, San Marino has had advanced 
legislation on health and safety standards since 1987.  
However, enforcement to date has been weak, due to employer 
resistance in some industries.  According to labor unions, 
health and safety standards are often not fully implemented in 
the construction sector.  For practical reasons and to reduce 
costs, employers and workers alike do not always follow all 
regulations.  In the last national labor contract, unions 
obtained 2 hours of paid time for all constructions workers to 
be given instruction and training concerning safety standards.  
The judicial system is responsible for enforcement.

[end of document]


Department Seal

Return to 1993 Human Rights Practices report home page.
Return to DOSFAN home page.
This is an official U.S. Government source for information on the WWW. Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.