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TITLE:  ANDORRA HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DATE:  FEBRUARY 1995









                            ANDORRA


Andorra became a parliamentary democracy in March 1993 when a 
popular referendum approved its Constitution.  Two 
Co-Princes--the President of France and the Spanish Bishop of 
Seu d'Urgell (each represented in Andorra by a delegate)--serve 
coequally as Heads of State, with limited powers; they have no 
veto over the Government.  The Executive Council, composed of 
the Head of Government (elected by the Parliament) and seven 
ministers, implements the Constitution and the laws.  The 
Parliament is popularly elected.  The judiciary functions 
independently.

Andorra has no military forces.  The small internal police 
force respects constitutional rights and individual freedoms.

The market-based economy is dependent on those of neighboring 
France and Spain.  In 1994 it showed recovery from the recent 
recession, with tourism becoming an increasingly important 
source of revenue.  Owing to banking secrecy laws, the 
financial-services sector is also growing in importance.

There were no reports of human rights abuses.  The 1993 
Constitution provides for "respect and promotion of liberty, 
equality, justice, tolerance, defense of human rights and 
dignity of the person," and the Government respects this.  The 
adoption of the Constitution led to formation of political 
parties, which participated in the first democratic elections.

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

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

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

There were no reports of political or other extrajudicial 
killings.

     b.  Disappearance

There were no reports of disappearances.

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

The Constitution guarantees all persons the "right to physical 
and moral integrity" and states that no one shall be subjected 
to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or 
punishment.  There were no reports of violations.  Penal 
conditions are exemplary.  Persons convicted of crimes with a 
penalty of more than one year must serve out their terms either 
in France or in Spain.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

The Constitution prohibits arbitrary arrest or detention, and 
the authorities respect this provision.  Police must obtain a 
court warrant prior to making an arrest or within 48 hours of 
it, and must lodge a charge within 48 hours of it.  A detainee 
has the right to be informed of charges, to choose a lawyer (or 
if indigent, have one provided at no cost), and to have access 
to family members.  The judge may decide to grant release on 
bail.  Pretrial detention is limited to 3 months.

The law does not provide for exile, and it is not practiced.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

The judiciary is independent and free of interference from the 
Government.  The highest body is the five-member Superior 
Council of Justice.  One member each is appointed by:  the two 
Co-Princes; the Head of Government; the President of the 
Parliament; and, collectively, members of the lower courts.

The Constitution provides for the presumption of innocence.  
The defendant has the right to confront and present witnesses, 
to avoid self-incrimination, and to appeal the verdict.

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

The Constitution provides safeguards against arbitrary 
interference with "privacy, honor, and reputation," and the 
authorities honor these.  No searches of any private premises 
may be conducted without a juridically issued warrant.  The law 
also protects private communications.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

The Constitution provides for freedom of expression, of 
communication, and of access to information, and it expressly 
prohibits censorship and any other means of ideological 
control.  The Government fully respects these provisions.

There are two radio stations, one public and one private.  Two 
newspapers and three magazines are published locally.  
Publications from abroad enter and circulate freely.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The Constitution provides for the right to meet and assemble 
for any lawful purpose.  The Government does not restrict this 
freedom.  Organizers of a public event need no permit for it.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the 
Government does not hamper the teaching or practice of any 
faith.  The Government pays Roman Catholic priests a monthly 
stipend at the level of the minimum wage.  Religion is not a 
required subject in the nonparochial schools, including those 
sponsored by France or Spain.

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

There are no restrictions on domestic or foreign travel, on 
emigration, or on repatriation.

The Government has no formal asylum policy; it evaluates asylum 
requests on a case-by-case basis.  While Andorra has a long 
tradition of providing asylum to political refugees, none are 
resident at present.

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

All adult citizens enjoy the right to vote by secret ballot.  
If the Head of Government loses a vote of confidence--as 
happened in December--the Parliament chooses a replacement, 
failing which, new elections are held.

The two Co-Princes are each represented by a delegate in 
Andorra who holds the rank of Ambassador.

The unicameral Parliament is composed of four to six 
representatives from each of the seven parishes.  Elections are 
held at 4-year intervals.  Half of the 28 representatives are 
elected on the basis of 2 per parish, and half on the basis of 
the size of population per parish.

Women have enjoyed full suffrage since 1970, but they continue 
to play a relatively minor role in politics.  Notwithstanding 
the absence of formal barriers, few women have run for office; 
only 1 of the 28 Members of Parliament is a woman, and only 2 
women have occupied cabinet-level positions.

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

While there are no legal or informal restrictions, no human 
rights organizations operate in this tiny nation.

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

The Constitution declares that all persons are considered equal 
before the law, and it prohibits discrimination on grounds of 
"birth, race, sex, origin, religion, opinions, or any other 
personal or social condition."  The Government fully respects 
these provisions, which apply not only to citizens but also to 
legal residents (who constitute a large majority of the 
population of Andorra).

     Women

The law does not discriminate against women.  It treats sexual 
violence as a criminal offense.  Data on violence against women 
are not available, but police sources say there is no pattern 
of abuse by spouses or other family members, and they have no 
recorded cases of battery of women or of rape.   The Government 
has no shelters for abused women, and asserts there is no need 
for such facilities.

     Children

The law does not explicitly provide for children's rights.  
There is a public shelter for abused or abandoned children.  
Over the past 12 years there has been just one known case of 
child abuse.

     People with Disabilities

Not all public buildings and public places provide access for 
physically disabled persons.  The Parliament approved 
legislation in 1985 that mandates accessibility for the 
handicapped in public places and buildings, but it applies only 
to new construction.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

The 1993 Constitution recognizes the right of all persons "to 
form and maintain managerial, professional, and trade union 
associations without prejudice."  However, as of the end of 
1994, no labor unions were registered.

Strikes were illegal under the old system; the Constitution 
does not explicitly permit them, but so long as there are no 
labor unions, the question of their legality is moot.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The new Constitution states that both "workers and employers 
have the right to defend their own economic and social 
interests."  It charges the Parliament with devising 
legislation to regulate the exercise of this right in ways that 
guarantee the functioning of essential public services.  
Workers are loath to complain or organize, meanwhile, because 
they fear dismissal in this traditionally tight job-market 
where no unemployment insurance is available.  The law does not 
prohibit antiunion discrimination.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

No law expressly prohibits forced or compulsory labor, but such 
offenses do not occur.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The law prohibits employment of youths less than 18 years of 
age, except that 16- and 17-year-olds may work under certain 
specified circumstances.  Child-labor regulations are enforced 
by the Labor Inspection Office (within the Ministry of Social 
Welfare, Public Health, and Labor), which does not routinely 
inspect workplaces, but responds to specific complaints.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

The legal standard workweek is capped at 40 hours, and overtime 
is limited to 66 hours per month and 426 hours per year.

The minimum wage, set by law and revised twice a year, is about 
$4.50 per hour (600 Spanish pesetas)  In principle, the Labor 
Inspection Office enforces it, but self-enforcement is 
customary.  The minimum wage does not afford a decent standard 
of living for a worker and family.

Workers may be dismissed without notice, and the unemployed 
receive social security and health benefits for only 25 days.  
Foreign workers who contribute to the social security system 
are ineligible for retirement benefits if they do not remain in 
Andorra after retirement, but they are eligible for lump-sum 
reimbursement when they leave the country.  There is no special 
court or board of appeals for labor complaints.

The Government sets occupational health and safety standards, 
but enforcement is very loose, as there are no routine 
inspections.  There is no legislation giving workers the right 
to remove themselves from dangerous work situations without 
jeopardy to their continued employment.


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[end of document]

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