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Title:  Monaco Human Rights Practices, 1995 
Author:  U.S. Department of State  
Date:  March 1996  
 
 
 
 
                                 MONACO 
 
 
Monaco is a constitutional monarchy in which the sovereign Prince plays 
a leading role in governing the country.  The Prince appoints the four-
member Government, headed by a Minister of State chosen by the Prince 
from a list of candidates proposed by France.  The other three members 
are Counselors for the Interior (who is usually French), for Public 
Works and Social Affairs, and for Finance and the Economy.  Each is 
responsible to the Prince.  Legislative power is shared between the 
Prince and the popularly elected 18-member National Council.  There are 
in addition three consultative bodies, whose members are appointed by 
the Prince:  the 7-member Crown Council; the 12-member Council of State; 
and the 30-member Economic Council, which includes representatives of 
employers and trade unions. 
 
In addition to the national police force, the "Carabiniers du Prince" 
carry out security functions.  Both forces are controlled by government 
officials. 
 
The principal economic activities in Monaco are services and banking, 
light manufacturing, and tourism. 
 
Individual human rights are provided for in the Constitution and 
respected in practice.  The Constitution distinguishes between those 
rights that are guaranteed for all residents and those that apply only 
to the 5,000 who hold Monegasque nationality.  The latter enjoy free 
education, financial assistance in case of unemployment or illness, and 
the right to vote and hold elective office.  Women traditionally have 
played a less active role than men in public life, but this is changing; 
women currently hold both elective and appointive offices.   
 
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 politically motivated disappearances. 
 
   c.   Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or 
Punishment 
 
The Constitution prohibits such practices, and the authorities respect 
this prohibition.  There were no reports of violations. 
 
Prison conditions meet minimum international standards, and the 
Government permits visits by human rights monitors. 
 
   d.    Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile 
 
The Constitution bars arbitrary arrest.  Arrest warrants are required, 
except when the detainee is arrested while committing an offense.  The 
police must bring the detainee before a judge within 24 hours to be 
informed of the charges and of the detainee's rights under the law.  
Most detainees are released without bail, but the investigating 
magistrate may order detention on grounds that the suspect might either 
flee or tamper with the investigation of the case.  The magistrate may 
extend the initial 2-month detention for additional 2-month periods 
indefinitely.  Detainees have the right to counsel, at public expense if 
necessary.  They have ready access to attorneys.  The magistrate may 
permit family members to see the detainee. 
 
The Government does not forcibly exile its own nationals.  It does 
sometimes expel to France, however, non-Monegasque nationals who are in 
violation of residency laws or who have committed minor offenses, such 
as disorderly conduct. 
 
   e.   Denial of Fair Public Trial 
 
Under the 1962 Constitution, the Prince delegated his judicial powers to 
an independent judiciary.  The law provides for fair, public trial, and 
the authorities respect these provisions.  The defendant has the right 
to be present and the right to counsel, at public expense if necessary.  
As under French law, a three-judge tribunal considers the evidence 
amassed by the investigating magistrate and hears the arguments 
presented by the prosecuting and defense attorneys.  The defendant 
enjoys a presumption of innocence and the right of appeal. 
 
There were no reports of political prisoners. 
 
   f.   Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 
 
The Constitution provides for the individual's right of privacy in 
personal and family life, at home, and in correspondence, and the 
Government respects these rights in practice. 
 
Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 
 
   a.   Freedom of Speech and the Press 
 
Freedom of expression is guaranteed.  The Monegasque Penal Code, 
however, prohibits public denunciations of the ruling family.  Several 
periodicals are published in Monaco.  Foreign newspapers and magazines 
circulate freely, including French  ones that specifically cover news in 
the Principality.  Foreign radio and television are received without 
restriction.  Stations that broadcast from the Principality operate in 
accordance with French and Italian regulations.  Academic freedom is 
respected. 
 
   b.   Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 
 
The Constitution provides citizens with the rights of peaceful assembly 
and association.  Outdoor meetings require police authorization, which 
is not withheld for political or arbitrary reasons.  Formal associations 
must be registered and authorized by the Government. 
 
   c.   Freedom of Religion 
 
Roman Catholicism is the state religion.  The law provides for the free 
practice of all religions, and the Government respects this right in 
practice. 
 
   d.   Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, 
Emigration, and Repatriation 
 
Residents of Monaco move freely within the country and across its open 
borders with France.  Monegasque nationals enjoy the rights of 
emigration and repatriation.  They can be deprived of their nationality 
only for specified acts, including naturalization in a foreign state.  
Only the Prince can grant or restore Monegasque nationality, but he is 
obliged by the Constitution to consult the Crown Council on each case 
before deciding. 
 
The Government implements the 1951 U.N. Convention Relating to the 
Status of Refugees.  In light of its bilateral arrangements with France, 
Monaco does not grant political asylum or refugee status unless the 
request also meets French criteria for such cases.  The number of cases 
is very small.  There were no reports of forced expulsion of those 
having a valid claim to refugee status.  
 
Section 3   Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens to 
Change Their Government 
 
The 1962 Constitution cannot be suspended, but it can be revised by 
common agreement between the Prince and the National Council.  The 
Prince plays an active role in government.  He names the Minister of 
State (in effect, the Prime Minister) from a list of names proposed by 
the French Government.  He names as well the three Counselors of 
Government (of whom the one responsible for the interior is usually a 
French national).  Together the four constitute the Government.  Each is 
responsible to the Prince. 
 
Only the Prince may initiate legislation, although the 18-member 
National Council may send proposals for legislation to the Government.  
All legislation and the adoption of the budget require the Council's 
assent.  Elections, which are held every 5 years, are based on universal 
adult suffrage and secret balloting.  Two political parties are 
currently represented on the Council.  There is one independent member. 
 
The Constitution provides for three consultative bodies.  The seven-
member Crown Council (composed exclusively of Monegasque nationals) must 
be consulted by the Prince regarding certain questions of national 
importance.  He may choose to consult it on other matters as well.  The 
12-member Council of State advises the Prince on proposed legislation 
and regulations.  The 30-member Economic Council advises the Government 
on social, financial, and economic questions.  One-third of its members 
come from the trade union movement, and one-third from the employers' 
federation. 
 
Women are active in public service.  The Mayor of Monaco and one member 
of the National Council are women.   
 
Section 4   Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights 
 
While the Government imposes no impediments to the establishment or 
operation of local groups devoted to monitoring human rights, there is 
none.  There have been no requests from outside groups to investigate 
human rights conditions in Monaco.  
 
Section 5   Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, 
Language, or Social Status 
 
The Constitution provides that all Monegasque nationals are equal before 
the law.  It differentiates between rights that are accorded nationals 
(including preference in employment, free education, and assistance to 
the ill or unemployed) and those guaranteed to all residents (e.g., 
freedom of religion, inviolability of the home). 
 
   Women 
 
Reported instances of violence against women are rare.  Marital violence 
is strictly prohibited, and any woman who is a victim of it may bring 
criminal charges against her husband.  Women are fairly well represented 
in the professions, e.g., they constitute 6 of Monaco's 18 lawyers 
(including a former president of the bar), 5 of 42 physicians, and 8 of 
26 dentists.  Women are less well represented in the business world.  
The law governing transmission of citizenship provides for equality of 
treatment between men and women who are  Monegasque by birth.  However, 
women who acquire Monegasque nationality by naturalization cannot 
transmit it to their children, whereas naturalized male citizens can.   
 
   Children 
 
The Government is fully committed to the protection of children's rights 
and welfare and has well-funded public education and health care 
programs.  There is no pattern of abuse of children.  
 
   People with Disabilities 
 
The Government has mandated that public buildings provide for access for 
the disabled, and this has been largely accomplished. 
 
Section 6  Worker Rights 
 
   a.   The Right of Association 
 
Workers have been free to form unions since the end of World War II.  
Fewer than 10 percent of workers belong to unions, and relatively few of 
these reside in the Principality.  Unions are independent of both the 
Government and the Monegasque political parties.  The Monegasque 
Confederation of Unions is not affiliated with any larger labor 
organization but is free to join international bodies. 
 
The Constitution specifies that workers enjoy the right to strike in 
conformity with relevant legislation.  Government workers, however, may 
not strike.  No strikes of major consequence occurred. 
 
   b.   The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively 
 
The law provides for the free exercise of union activity.  Agreements on 
working conditions are negotiated between organizations representing 
employers in a given sector of the economy and the respective union.  
Antiunion discrimination is prohibited.  Union representatives can be 
fired only with the agreement of a commission that includes two members 
from the employers' association and two from the labor movement.  
Allegations that an employee has been fired for union activity may be 
brought before the Labor Court, which can order redress such as the 
payment of damages with interest. 
 
There are no export processing zones. 
 
   c.   Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor 
 
Such practices are outlawed and do not occur. 
 
    d.   Minimum Age for Employment of Children 
 
The minimum age for employment is 16 years.  Special restrictions apply 
to the hiring, worktimes, and other conditions of workers age 16 to 18. 
 
   e.   Acceptable Conditions of Work 
 
The legal minimum wage for full-time work is the French minimum wage 
plus 5 percent, i.e., currently $7.92 per hour (Fr 38.83), which is 
adequate to provide a decent living for a worker and family.  Most 
workers receive more than the minimum.  The legal workweek is 39 hours.  
Health and safety standards are fixed by law and government decree.  
These standards are enforced by health and safety committees in the 
workplace and by the government Labor Inspector. 
 
(###)

[end of document]

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