Liechtenstein

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Report
June 25, 2015

This is the basic text view. SWITCH NOW to the new, more interactive format.

   

EXECUTIVE SUMMARYShare    

The Principality of Liechtenstein is a multi-party constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government. The unicameral Landtag (parliament) nominates, and the monarch appoints, members of the government. Five ministers, three from the Progressive Citizens’ Party and two from the Patriotic Union, formed a coalition government following free and fair parliamentary elections February 2013. Authorities maintained effective control over the security forces.

There were no reports of egregious human rights abuses. The country’s main human rights problems consisted of isolated instances of domestic violence, including spousal and child abuse, as well as societal discrimination against minorities.

NGO observers considered that legislation disadvantageous to foreigners, the continuing downsizing of the Equal Opportunity Office, and the interim suspension of the Commission on Equality between Women and Men as impeding the effective prevention of discrimination against minorities and the advancement of gender equality. The absence of a legal framework to combat racial discrimination was further cause for concern, as was the difficulty for Muslim women wearing headscarves to find employment and housing.

The government took steps to prosecute officials who committed abuses.

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

a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life

There were no reports that the government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings.

b. Disappearance

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances, abductions, or kidnappings.

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

The constitution and law prohibit such practices, and there were no reports that government officials employed them.

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

Prison and detention center conditions generally met international standards.

Physical Conditions: In 2013 there were 68 persons in prison or detention; three prisoners were women and one was under the age of 18. Eight persons were in investigative custody. Authorities detained 26 illegal immigrants and asylum seekers for a combined total of 88 days in 2013. According to bilateral treaties with Austria and Switzerland, those two countries incarcerated Liechtensteiner prisoners sentenced to more than two years’ imprisonment. During 2013 Austria held 15 prisoners, and Switzerland held two. Austrian and Swiss detention officials provided regular reports on the prisoners to local authorities.

The country’s only prison had a 20-bed capacity. The prison did not reach its maximum capacity during the year, and up to four beds remained unassigned for emergency purposes. Since the facility served primarily as a short-term prison, authorities could not always separate different categories of prisoners. Women prisoners had their own section. Due to a lack of space and the generally very low number of juvenile offenders, authorities usually accommodated juveniles in the women’s ward so that any underage prisoners or detainees would not be socially isolated. Prisoners had access to potable water and adequate food, and there were no reports of food shortages. There were no deaths reported in the prison in 2013, and sanitation and medical care were adequate.

Administration: Prisoners and detainees had reasonable access to visitors and could observe their religious practices. According to law they could submit uncensored complaints to the prince, the government, parliament, and judicial authorities to request investigations of credible allegations of inhuman conditions. No prisoners submitted such allegations during the year. The country does not have an ombudsman or comparable authority to act on behalf of prisoners and detainees. Observers found, however, that authorities managed the prison satisfactorily and maintained thorough, computerized records. Authorities used alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders, including monetary penalties and charitable work, particularly for juvenile offenders.

Independent Monitoring: The government permitted visits by independent human rights observers and granted access to the independent Corrections Commission to monitor prison conditions. This specialized commission, which also served as the designated national preventive mechanism under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture, organized at least one unannounced visit to the country’s prison each quarter. In 2013 the commission made five such unannounced visits. During these visits the commission collected documentation, interviewed staff members, and spoke privately with between seven and 13 prisoners on each of the five inspections. Commissioners found conditions generally satisfactory, although they recommended increased efforts to organize work and leisure time opportunities for inmates, given that detainees’ occupational and leisure-related activity level stood at just 30 percent of their overall daily routine. A further recommendation included that a second corrections officer complete paramedic training. The country also permitted prison visits by the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT); however, the CPT has not visited the country since 2007.

d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention

The constitution and law prohibit arbitrary arrest and detention, and the government generally observed these prohibitions.

Role of the Police and Security Apparatus

The national police maintain internal security and report to the Office of Civil Defense. The country does not have an army. Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the regular and auxiliary police, and the government had effective mechanisms to investigate and punish abuse and corruption. In the event of any security force killings, the state prosecutor and district court are expected to investigate such incidents to determine whether they were justifiable. There were no cases of security force killings in 2014. There were no reports of impunity involving the security forces during the year.

Arrest Procedures and Treatment of Detainees

Police arrest a suspect based on an arrest warrant issued by the national court. Within 48 hours of arrest, police must bring suspects before an examining magistrate, who must either file formal charges or order the suspect’s release. Authorities respected this right. The law permits the release on personal recognizance or bail unless the examining magistrate has reason to believe the suspect represented a danger to society or would not appear for trial. The law grants suspects the right to legal counsel of their own choosing during pretrial detention, and the government provided counsel at its own expense to indigent persons. According to the criminal procedure code, every detainee must be informed of the reasons for the detention at the time of detention or immediately thereafter. Authorities also must advise detainees of their right to contact legal counsel and a relative. During investigative detention, authorities may monitor visits to prevent tampering with evidence.

Detention of Rejected Asylum Seekers or Stateless Persons: Authorities detained unsuccessful applicants for asylum pending their deportation. Conditions of detention were generally satisfactory, and there were no reports from NGOs or others of complaints being filed. During the year authorities detained a combined total of 26 asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, all of whom were detained for less than 24 hours.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

The constitution and law provide for an independent judiciary, and the government generally respected judicial independence.

Trial Procedures

The constitution and law provide for the right to a fair trial, and an independent judiciary generally enforced this right. Defendants enjoy the presumption of innocence and the right to be informed promptly and in detail of charges. A single judge hears trials involving minor offenses. A panel of judges chairs more serious or complex cases, and the most serious cases, including murder, go before a public jury. While most trials were public, some were closed proceedings. The government could not provide the numbers of closed or public trials. Courts published all court decisions electronically, although in some cases the names of individuals involved were blacked out. Courts ruled on 112 cases by mid-October. The law grants defendants the right to legal counsel of their own choosing at trial. Counsel is provided at government expense or pro bono for indigent persons. Defendants are allotted adequate time and facilities to prepare a defense. Defendants may challenge witnesses or evidence and present witnesses or evidence on their own behalf. They have access to government-held evidence relevant to their cases. Defendants have the right not to testify or confess guilt. Those defendants convicted have the right to appeal, ultimately to the Supreme Court. The government extended these rights to all.

Political Prisoners and Detainees

There were no reports of political prisoners or detainees.

Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies

There is an independent and impartial judiciary in civil matters and access to a court to seek damages for, or cessation of, a human rights violation. Citizens may appeal cases involving alleged violations of the European Convention on Human Rights to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

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

The constitution and law prohibit such actions, and there were no reports that the government failed to respect these prohibitions.

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:Share    

a. Freedom of Speech and Press

The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press, and the government generally respected these rights. An independent press, an effective judiciary, and a functioning democratic political system combined to promote freedom of speech and press.

Freedom of Speech: The law prohibits public insults directed against a race, people, or ethnic group, with a possible prison sentence of up to two years. Authorities did not file any charges for public insults during the year.

Internet Freedom

The government did not restrict or disrupt access to the internet or censor online content, and there were no credible reports that the government monitored private online communications without appropriate legal authority. Internet access was generally available, with more than 93.8 percent of the country’s residents using the internet.

Academic Freedom and Cultural Events

There were no government restrictions on academic freedom or cultural events.

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The constitution and law provide for the freedoms of assembly and association, and the government generally respected these rights.

c. Freedom of Religion

See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report at www.state.gov/religiousfreedomreport/.

d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons

The constitution and law provide for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, and the government generally respected these rights. The government cooperated with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other humanitarian organizations in providing protection and assistance to refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, and other persons of concern.

Protection of Refugees

Access to Asylum: The law provides for the granting of asylum or refugee status, and the government has a system for providing protection to refugees. The law allows asylum seekers under deportation orders to request an appeal hearing within five days.

In 2013 there were 93 new asylum applications. The majority of asylum seekers hailed from Bosnia, Russia, Algeria, and Somalia. The country granted asylum to one person in 2013. Twelve asylum seekers were sent back to the EU states responsible for their application’s processing under the Dublin Regulation, 23 withdrew their application, and 35 disappeared with no record of their whereabouts. Eighteen asylum seekers left the country under controlled supervision. Six individuals received temporary admission in 2013.

Safe Country of Origin/Transit: According to law, persons entering the country from another safe country are not eligible for asylum. There were no reports that authorities returned individuals to unsafe countries or to countries with poorly functioning asylum systems.

Employment: By law asylum seekers are obliged to work if there is a possibility to do so. The refugee center placed asylum seekers in external employment, for which the center received 20 Swiss francs ($20.20) per person per hour, of which the asylum seekers were given up to three Swiss francs ($3.03) per hour in cash. The refugee aid program set aside the remaining wages in a personal account, allocated towards the asylum seekers’ cost of nutrition, shelter, health, and old-age insurance. On leaving the country or if recognized as refugees, asylum seekers received any balance remaining. The government covered any remaining debt. If recognized as refugees, asylum seekers also received assistance with finding external housing, and the government provided them with vouchers to attend German lessons. The government made language classes available only to those asylum seekers who had been taken in temporarily or who had been granted official refugee status. The government ensured that asylum seekers had employment according to labor law.

Temporary Protection: The government also provides temporary protection to individuals who might not qualify as refugees. No individuals qualified for this kind of protection in 2013.

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

The constitution and law provide citizens the ability to change their government through free and fair elections, which they exercised through periodic, free, and fair elections based on universal suffrage.

As a hereditary monarchy, the country’s line of succession is restricted to male descendants of the Liechtenstein dynasty. Prince Hans Adam II is the head of state. In 2004 Hereditary Prince Alois assumed the duties of head of state, exercising the rights of office on behalf of the reigning prince. All legislation enacted by the parliament must have the concurrence of the monarch and the prime minister.

Elections and Political Participation

Recent Elections: In February 2013 the country held free and fair parliamentary elections. The election was the first to elect members of the Independent Party to parliament, resulting in four political parties being represented in parliament.

Participation of Women and Minorities: There were five women in the 25-seat parliament and two women in the five-member cabinet. Women held 29 of the 106 seats in the municipal councils. There were no known members of minorities in the government.

Section 4. Corruption and Lack of Transparency in GovernmentShare    

The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, and the government generally implemented these laws effectively. There were no reports of government corruption during the year.

Corruption: The law prohibits public officials from requesting or accepting gifts or benefits in connection with their duties and places restrictions on public officials engaging in private commercial activities. Police and the prosecutor’s office, respectively, were responsible for investigating and prosecuting official corruption. Police employed an organizationally independent special investigative unit for corruption cases.

An interdepartmental working group chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinated measures to prevent and fight corruption.

Financial Disclosure: Public officials are not subject to comprehensive financial disclosure laws. Political parties that receive government financing must report campaign expenditures as part of their annual financial reports. These reports are subject to independent audit; however, external foundations not bound to financial disclosure requirements may receive donations and contribute them to a political party. In its October 2013 compliance report, the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) noted that the government had satisfactorily enhanced the active role of the Anti-Corruption Working Group as well as developed ethical rules and codes of conduct for public administrations at the central and local level.

Public Access to Information: The law requires the government to inform the public of its activities, and government information was freely available to all persons living in the country, including domestic and foreign media.

Section 5. Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human RightsShare    

A variety of domestic and international human rights groups generally operated without government restriction, investigating and publishing their findings on human rights cases. Government officials generally were cooperative and responsive to their views.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs regularly published and updated reports released by international monitoring bodies on its internet homepage.

Section 6. Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in PersonsShare    

The law prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, disability, language, or social status. The government effectively enforced these prohibitions.

Women

Rape and Domestic Violence: Rape, including spousal rape, is a criminal offense, and the government effectively prosecuted individuals accused of such crimes. Penalties for rape and sexual violence vary between one and 15 years’ imprisonment depending on the degree of violence and humiliation of the victim and between 10 and 20 years of imprisonment if the victim was killed. The courts may reduce sentences for spousal rape if the victim decides to remain with the abusive spouse. In 2012 the government passed a law aimed at better protecting victims of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. Police reported three cases of rape during 2013.

The law prohibits all forms of domestic violence and provides for restraining orders against violent family members. There were reports of violence against women, including spousal abuse. According to 2013 police records, 16 women were victims of domestic violence. Regulation authorized police to ban the abuser from returning to the site and did so on one occasion.

In 2013 Frauenhaus, the country’s only shelter for women, provided in-house counseling and refuge to 15 women and nine children. Thirteen of the 15 women resided in Liechtenstein and two came from Switzerland. The Frauenhaus also assisted 34 “outpatients” and provided phone counseling to eight women. The government-run Information and Contact Center for Women (Infra) provided single-stop financial, administrative, legal, and psychological assistance to victims of domestic violence. Infra recorded eight cases of domestic violence independently at the Frauenhaus.

In November 2013 the government and the women’s shelter organized a countrywide campaign within the context of the Universal Children’s Day to raise awareness about the problem of domestic violence and to distribute emergency numbers. Frauenhaus also organized a workshop on domestic violence prevention at a local high school and collaborated with the Equal Opportunity Office and 30 local bakeries on a national campaign to sensitize the public on domestic violence.

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): The law explicitly prohibits FGM/C of women and girls of all ages and cultures.

Other Harmful Traditional Practices: There were no reports of dowry deaths, “honor” killings, or other harmful traditional practices.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is illegal and punishable by up to six months in prison or a fine, and the government effectively enforced these prohibitions. Stalking is a criminal offense. The government also considers mobbing--pressure, harassment, or blackmail tactics--in the workplace to be a crime. In 2012 the government passed two regulations on the prevention of sexual harassment and workplace bullying in the national administration. Employers are required to take reasonable measures to prevent sexual harassment, and failure to do so may result in compensation for victims up to 40,000 Swiss francs ($40,400). There were 11 complaints of sexual harassment recorded during the year, eight of which were resolved.

Reproductive Rights: Couples and individuals have the right to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so and the right to attain the highest standard of reproductive health, free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. Contraceptives and medical services were readily available. There were no reports of barriers limiting access to maternal health services.

Discrimination: Women enjoy the same legal rights as men, including rights under family law, property law, and in the judicial system. While the objective of the Equal Opportunity Office and the Commission on Equality between Women and Men is to eliminate all forms of gender discrimination, several NGOs cited the continuing downsizing of the Equal Opportunity Office and the interim suspension of the Commission on Equality between Women and Men as impeding effective prevention of discrimination against minorities and advancement of gender equality.

Societal discrimination continued to limit opportunities for women in fields traditionally dominated by men. The median income for men during the year remained approximately 17.2 percent higher than for women. The labor contract law and the equal opportunity law contain provisions to combat gender discrimination in the workplace.

Children

Birth Registration: Citizenship is derived at birth from a child’s parents. A single parent may convey citizenship. A child born to stateless parents in the country may acquire citizenship after five years in country. Children are registered at birth.

Child Abuse: Police filed six cases of sexual abuse involving 10 perpetrators in 2013. The Expert Group Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youths recorded 14 cases of child abuse, while the Office for Social Services reported six suspected cases of child abuse.

The government supported programs to protect the rights of children and made financial contributions to three nongovernmental organizations that monitored children’s rights. The Office for Social Services oversaw the implementation of government-supported programs for children and youth.

Early and Forced Marriage: The legal minimum age of marriage for both girls and boys is 18 years.

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): The law explicitly prohibits FGM/C of women and girls of all ages and cultures.

Sexual Exploitation of Children: The law prohibits the prostitution of minors. Penalties for the sexual exploitation of minors range from one to 10 years’ imprisonment. The law sets the minimum age for consensual sex at 14; penalties for statutory rape are between one and 10 years’ imprisonment. Possession or distribution of child pornography is a criminal offense, with penalties ranging from monetary fines to six months in prison. Police registered 16 cases of pornography involving minors in 2013 and opened investigations against ten individuals.

International Child Abductions: The country is not a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Anti-Semitism

The small Jewish community does not have an organizational structure. Approximately 30 individuals belonged to the Jewish community during the year. There were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.

Trafficking in Persons

The country investigated its first case of human trafficking in 2013. Due to ongoing investigations, authorities were unable to provide further details on the case. As of October 13 a verdict was still pending at the State Court.

Persons with Disabilities

The law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities in employment, education, transportation, access to health care, or the provision of other state services or other areas. According to NGOs working with individuals with disabilities, cooperation with the government was good, but greater awareness of problems related to disabilities as well as support for employees and employers were needed. The government effectively implemented laws and programs to ensure that persons with disabilities readily had access to buildings, information, and communications. The law mandates that public kindergartens and schools, as well as public transportation systems, must be accessible to persons with disabilities. Children with disabilities were able to attend public schools or a special school established by the orthopedic society. The country also had several institutions that provided working, living, and school facilities for persons with disabilities.

The government took various measures to eliminate barriers for persons with disabilities. It expanded barrier-free access to its internet platform, which was outfitted with a special sign language feature, and maintained an online guide, “Barrier-free through Liechtenstein,” which provided current information on accessibility of buildings, schools, and restaurants.

In 2013, 324 buildings were officially listed as “barrier-free.” The law requires public buildings constructed before 2002 to be barrier-free by 2019 and public buildings constructed between 2002 and 2007 to be barrier-free by 2027.

National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Police estimated that violent right-wing extremists, including skinheads, numbered no more than 15 to 20 persons. The government continued to monitor right-wing groups. During the year foreign nationals, mostly from Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Italy, represented 33.7 percent of the resident population. Ethnic Turks represented 6.2 percent of the foreign, non-German speaking population. The police recorded one racial discrimination offense in 2013. The Liechtenstein Institute’s yearly monitoring report on right-wing extremism noted a less pronounced online presence of right-wing groups during 2013.

In February 2013 the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, in its fourth report on the country, expressed concern over legislation targeting foreigners (The Foreigners Act) because of its implications with respect to non-citizens’ access to public services. The report also expressed concern over the absence of a legal framework aimed at combating racial discrimination. The report stated that it was particularly difficult for Muslim women who wore headscarves to find employment and housing. The report cited cases in which Muslim women were refused employment or traineeships because of their refusal to remove their headscarves.

Acts of Violence, Discrimination, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

An antidiscrimination law that exists as part of a broader equality law only applies to equality between men and women. The law does not explicitly mention lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) individuals. The country’s LGBT community issued no formal complaints of abuse or discrimination during the year. However, homosexual men publicly complained that current regulations do not allow them to donate blood. According to the country’s only LGBT organization, Flay, societal stigma or intimidation generally were not deemed factors in preventing incidents of abuse from being reported, but many LGBT individuals known to the organization were nonetheless often reluctant to publicly acknowledge their sexual orientation and gender identity for fear of experiencing social backlash and isolation.

Other Societal Violence or Discrimination

There were no reports of discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS.

Section 7. Worker RightsShare    

a. Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective Bargaining

The law provides for the rights of all workers, including foreigners, to form and join independent unions of their choice, to select their own union representatives freely, and to bargain collectively. The law allows unions to conduct their activities without government interference. There are no provisions in the constitution or in labor laws explicitly banning the right to strike. The law does not prohibit antiunion discrimination. The law does not require reinstatement of workers fired for union activity.

The law permits strikes by civil servants. There were no reports of antiunion discrimination or government or employer interference with union activity during the year. The government adequately enforced applicable laws. The resources, inspections, and remediation, including penalties for violations, were adequate and sufficient to deter violations.

b. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The law prohibits all forms of forced or compulsory labor. The resources, inspections, and remediation, including penalties for violations, were adequate and sufficient to deter violations. There were no reports of violations.

c. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment

The minimum age for employment is 16; exceptions may be made for the limited employment of children who are 14 and older and for those who leave school after completing nine years of compulsory education. Working hours for youths between the ages of 15 and 18 years, who have completed compulsory education, are not to exceed 40 hours a week. Children 14 or older may engage in light work for no more than nine hours per week during the school year and 15 hours per week at other times. The law prohibits any work whose nature or conditions could impair a child’s health, safety, or personal development.

The law prohibits labor that subjects children to physical, psychological, moral, or sexual abuse. There were no reports of violations of the law during the year.

The government devoted adequate resources and oversight to child labor policies, penalties for violations were sufficient to deter violations, and the Department for Worker Safety of the Office of the National Economy effectively supervised compliance with the law.

d. Discrimination With Respect to Employment or Occupation

The country’s equality act and disability law prohibit discrimination between men and women and against disabled persons with respect to employment. However, according to the government’s center for women, Infra, a marked difference between men and women still exists in professional promotions, and women are severely underrepresented in top-level management positions in private industry and the national administration. While antidiscrimination laws do not explicitly mention race, language, or sexual orientation, protection is granted to persons within these categories through special legal provisions. For example, the country’s labor laws refer to the protection of an employee’s personality, which encompasses gender, race, nationality, and sexual orientation, among others. However, according to the 2013 ECRI report, it was particularly difficult for Muslim women who wore headscarves to find employment. The report cited cases in which Muslim women were refused employment or traineeships because of their refusal to remove their headscarves. Infra also noted that migrant women faced greater obstacles finding employment than local women.

e. Acceptable Conditions of Work

There is no national minimum wage. The Liechtenstein Workers Association negotiates minimum wages annually with the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber for Economic Affairs. The government estimated the poverty income level at 27,600 Swiss francs per year ($27,879) for a single person without family, approximately 2,300 Swiss francs ($2,323) monthly. For a household (two adults and two children) the minimum annual income was 55,500 Swiss francs ($55,555) per year, approximately 4,625 Swiss francs ($4,672) per month.

The Equality Act explicitly requires equal pay for equal work; however, the median income for men during the year remained approximately 17.8 percent higher than that for women. The median income for men was approximately 6,875 Swiss francs ($6,944) per month, while women on average earned 5,694 Swiss francs ($5.752) per month. According to 2010 statistics, the median monthly income for citizens was 6,825 Swiss francs ($6,894); the median income for foreigners was 6,181 Swiss francs ($6,242).

The law sets the maximum workweek at 45 hours for white-collar workers, employees of industrial firms, and sales personnel and 48 hours for other workers. The law provides for a daily mandatory one-hour break and an 11-hour rest period for full-time workers; with few exceptions, work on Sunday is not allowed. Pay for overtime is required to be at least 25 percent higher than the standard rate, and overtime is generally restricted to two hours per day. Overtime may also be compensated with additional time off. The average workweek, including overtime, may not exceed 48 hours over a period of four consecutive months. These standards also covered the thousands of workers who commuted daily from neighboring countries. All professions are covered by the law, but some exceptions to overtime limits were authorized in the areas of nursing and medical treatment. There were additional safeguards for youths, pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as employees with family duties.

The Office of Labor Inspection, a part of the Department of National Economy, is responsible for enforcing labor laws, including regulations that mandate a healthy work environment, work hours, holidays, and workplace safety. The agency had inspectors in two sectors: one inspector for examining workplace conditions, such as wages and occupational health and safety, and two inspectors for controlling construction sites or work permits. Labor inspectors meet with their counterparts from Austria and Switzerland at an annual best practices conference.

In 2012 there were 1,889 workplace accidents; eleven resulted in injury and two in death. Workers can remove themselves from situations that endangered their health or safety without jeopardy to their employment, and authorities effectively protected employees in such cases.