Rape and Domestic Violence: The law prohibits rape, including spousal rape, and the government enforced the law effectively. Penalties for violations range from five to 10 years’ imprisonment. The law prohibits domestic violence, and the government effectively enforced the law. The law is gender neutral and provides for the removal of abusers from their residences for a 10-day period that can be extended for an additional three months. Penalties may include fines and imprisonment. If an individual approaches an NGO for assistance in cases involving domestic abuse, police are required to investigate.
The government funded organizations that provided shelter, counseling, psychosocial assistance, and hotlines. Three specialized hotlines were available to assist men, women, and children who were victims of domestic abuse. The government provided financial assistance to domestic violence victims.
In 2016 authorities prosecuted 135 cases of indecent assault and 106 cases of rape, representing increases compared with 2015. In 2016 police intervened 789 times in domestic violence situations, and prosecutors authorized 256 evictions as a result of these incidents. According to the public prosecutor’s office, domestic violence mostly occurs between married couples.
Sexual Harassment: The law prohibits sexual harassment and requires employers to protect employees from such harassment. The law prohibits gender-based job discrimination and harassment of subordinates by superiors. Disciplinary measures against offenders, including dismissal, are available. The law considers an employer’s failure to take measures to protect employees from sexual harassment a breach of contract, and an affected employee is entitled to paid leave until the situation is rectified.
Coercion in Population Control: There were no reports of coerced abortion, involuntary sterilization, or other coercive population control methods. Estimates on maternal mortality and contraceptive prevalence are available at: www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/monitoring/maternal-mortality-2015/en/.
Discrimination: The law provides for the same legal status and rights for women as for men.
Birth Registration: Citizenship is governed by the principle of descent, according to which a father or mother who is a citizen automatically conveys citizenship to offspring at birth. The law allows for citizenship via naturalization and, as of 2008, allows dual citizenship. Citizenship for minor children is automatically conveyed when a parent naturalizes. All residents, regardless of citizenship, are required to register in the commune of residence.
Early and Forced Marriage: The minimum legal age of marriage is 18 for men and 16 for women, provided one of the partners is a resident of the country. Permission of at least one parent is required if one of the partners is under 16.
Sexual Exploitation of Children: The law prohibits the commercial sexual exploitation of children, the sale of children, the offering or procuring of a child for child prostitution, and practices related to child pornography. Authorities enforced the law. Penalties for the sexual exploitation of children range from five years’ to life imprisonment. The minimum legal age for consensual sex is 16.
Displaced Children: In its June report the country’s Ombudsman Committee for the Rights of Children noted that there were 50 asylum requests for unaccompanied children in 2016, down from 105 in 2015. In November 2016 the government opened two new specialized housing shelters specifically for unaccompanied children, in addition to the three shelters that already existed, and the government placed unaccompanied children in these shelters whenever feasible.
International Child Abductions: The country is a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. See the Department of State’s Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction at travel.state.gov/content/childabduction/en/legal/compliance.html.
The Jewish community numbered approximately 1,500 persons. There were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.
Trafficking in Persons
See the Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report at www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/.
Persons with Disabilities
The law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities. The government mostly enforced these provisions. The law requires all new government-owned buildings and buildings undergoing renovation to be accessible to persons with disabilities. Private facilities and services as well as existing government-owned buildings are not subject to the law. The accessibility of public transportation outside the capital was limited.
Parents have the right to decide whether their children with disabilities will attend their regular local school or a specialized school for children with disabilities.
Acts of Violence, Discrimination, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
The law prohibits all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and applies to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex persons. There were no reports of cases of violations of the law during the year.