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









                         LIECHTENSTEIN


The Principality of Liechtenstein is a constitutional monarchy 
and parliamentary democracy.  The reigning Prince is the Head 
of State; all legislation enacted by the popularly elected 
Parliament (Landtag) must have his concurrence.  The Landtag 
nominates and the Prince appoints the members of the Government 
and of the functionally independent judiciary.  The 
Constitution authorizes the Prince to alter criminal sentences 
or pardon offenders; if the offender is a member of the 
Government, sentenced for violating an official duty, the 
Prince can take such action only if the Landstag so requests.

The Interior Ministry effectively oversees the regular and 
auxiliary police forces.  There is no standing military force.

Despite its small size and limited natural resources, 
Liechtenstein has developed during recent decades from an 
agrarian society into a prosperous, highly industrialized, 
free-enterprise economy with a vital service sector.  It 
participates in a customs union with Switzerland, and uses the 
Swiss franc as its national currency.  The citizens enjoy a 
very high standard of living.  Unemployment was only 1.5 
percent in 1994.

The Constitution provides for basic human rights, and the 
Government respects these.  However, domestic violence against 
women is a serious societal problem.

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 law prohibits torture and cruel punishment, and there were 
no reports of use of such methods.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

The law provides for freedom from arbitrary arrest and 
detention, and the authorities honor these provisions.  Within 
24 hours of arrest, the police must bring the suspect before an 
examining magistrate, who must either state formal charges or 
order release.  The law grants suspects the right to legal 
counsel of their own choosing, at no cost if the suspect is 
indigent.  Release on personal recognizance or bail is granted 
unless the examining magistrate has reason to believe the 
person is a danger to society or will not appear for trial.  
There is no provision for exile, and it does not occur.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

The judiciary is independent of the executive and legislative 
branches.  It has three tiers: lower court, high court, and 
Supreme Court.  In addition, an Administrative Court hears 
appeals against government decisions.  Also, a State Court 
protects the rights accorded by the Constitution, decides on 
conflicts of jurisdiction between the law courts and the 
administrative authorities, and acts as a disciplinary court 
for members of the Government.

The Constitution provides for public trials and judicial 
appeal, and the authorities respect these provisions.

There are no political prisoners.

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

The Constitution provides for personal liberty, and for 
inviolability of the home, of postal correspondence, and of 
telephone conversations.  No violations have been reported.  
Police need a judicial warrant to search private property.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

An independent press, effective judiciary, and democratic 
political system combine to ensure freedom of speech and 
press.  There are two newspapers, each representing the 
interests of one of the two major political parties.  The only 
broadcasting facility is a State-owned television station, but 
residents freely receive radio and television broadcasts from 
abroad.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The Constitution provides for freedom of assembly and 
association, and the the authorities do not interfere with 
these.  They require permits for public meetings and 
demonstrations, but routinely grant them.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

The Government does not hamper the teaching or practice of any 
faith.  The finances of the Roman Catholic Church are 
integrated directly into the budgets of the national and local 
governments.  Taxpayers may opt not to contribute to the 
Church, but this decision precludes membership in the Church.  
Roman Catholic or Protestant religious education is compulsory 
in all schools, but the authorities routinely grant exemptions 
for children whose parents so request.

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

Citizens have unrestricted freedom to travel in or outside the 
country, to emigrate, and to return.  The country's lack of an 
airport or international train station precludes it from being 
a country of first asylum.  There is no asylum law; Parliament 
decides case-by-case on the few, sporadic applications.  In 
late 1994 it granted preliminary work permits, valid through 
1996, for a group of 18 Tibetans who arrived in October 1993.  
The Government returns rejected applicants to the Swiss or 
Austrian entry point, after authorities there provide 
assurances that applicants will not be forced to return to 
countries that may persecute them.

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

The monarchy is hereditary in the male line.  The 25-member 
unicameral legislature is elected every 4 years.  Suffrage is 
universal for adults over age 20, and balloting is secret.  A 
two-party coalition has formed the Government since 1938.  
Other parties operate freely; one currently has a seat in 
Parliament.  The Government regularly puts initiatives and 
referendums to popular vote.

Since women gained the right to vote in 1984, a growing number 
of women have been active in politics.  Two women are members 
of Parliament, and two--one of them the Foreign Minister--are 
among the five members of the Cabinet.  Women are serving on 
the executive committees in the major parties.

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

The sole human rights organization based in Liechtenstein, 
Justitia Et Pax, is an informal group of about ten persons who 
monitor prison conditions and assist foreign workers with 
immigration matters.

There have been no requests from any source for investigation 
of human rights violations.

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

The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, 
language, or social status, and the authorities respect these 
provisions.

     Women

Societal discrimination still limits opportunities for women in 
fields traditionally dominated by men, and the law still 
provides no means to redress discrimination.  However, a 1992 
constitutional amendment provided for equality for women under 
the law, and requires the Parliament to revise, by the end of 
1995, all laws relevant to this provision.  Accordingly, 
Parliamentary committees have been working on revision of the 
statutes concerning citizenship, education, employment 
conditions, taxation, and other matters.

Domestic violence against women is a serious problem.  Over 670 
women were given shelter in 1994 due to violence or threats 
from a spouse or male partner.  The law prohibits wife beating, 
and the Government prosecutes abusers.

     Children

There is no pattern of societal abuse against children.  The 
Government supports programs to protect the rights of children, 
and matches contributions made to the four nongovernmental 
organizations monitoring children's rights.

     People with Disabilities

Although the law does not expressly prohibit discrimination 
against people with disabilities, complaints of such 
discrimination may be pursued in the courts.

The Government has not required that buildings or government 
services be made accessible for people with disabilities.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

Labor-management relations are conducted according to the Swiss 
Code of Obligations.  All workers, including foreigners, are 
free to associate, join the unions of their choice, and select 
their own union representatives.  The sole trade union 
represents 13 percent of the work force, but it looks after the 
interests of nonmembers as well.  It is a member of the World 
Confederation of Labor, but is represented there by a Swiss 
union.

Workers have the right to strike except in certain essential 
services.  No strikes are known to have taken place in the last 
26 years.  The law does not provide specific protection for 
strikers.  Employers may dismiss employees for refusal to work; 
such dismissals may be contested.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The law provides for the right of workers to organize and 
bargain collectively.  However, collective bargaining 
agreements are generally adapted from ones negotiated by Swiss 
employers and unions.

There are no export processing zones.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The law prohibits forced or compulsory labor, and there were no 
reports of violations.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The law generally prohibits employment of children under age 
16; however, regulatory exceptions may be made, under certain 
circumstances, for some employment of youths older than 13 and 
for those leaving school after age 14.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

There is no national minimum wage, but even the lowest actual 
wages afford a decent living for workers and their families.  
The law sets the maximum workweek at 45 hours for white-collar 
workers and employees of industrial firms, and 50 hours for all 
other workers.  The actual workweek is usually 40 to 43 hours.  
Employers must guarantee workers 1 1/2 rest days each week, 
usually Saturday afternoon and Sunday.  Workers over age 19 
receive at least 4 weeks of vacation; younger ones, at least 5 
weeks.

The law sets occupational health and safety standards, and the 
Department for Worker Safety effectively enforces these 
provisions.

(###)

[end of document]

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