Rape and Domestic Violence: Rape, including spousal rape, is a criminal offense. 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 years’ and lifetime imprisonment if the victim is killed. The government effectively prosecuted individuals accused of such crimes.
The law prohibits all forms of domestic violence and provides for restraining orders against violent family members. Police may prohibit an abuser from returning to the site. According to the law, however, victims who migrated to Liechtenstein and who have been married to a citizen for less than five years are required to prove their victim status or sufficient integration into Liechtenstein society in order not to lose their marriage-based residence permits. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) noted that the country’s only women’s shelter, Frauenhaus, was not allowed to accept undocumented women fleeing domestic violence.
There were reports of violence against women, including spousal abuse. In 2017 Frauenhaus assisted 27 women and 36 children. The shelter observed a decrease in restraining orders issued by authorities and stated their care for victims had become more complex and time-intensive due to victims suffering increased psychological trauma.
On June 8, a man physically beat his wife unconscious after the couple, with their seven-month-old child, returned from visiting friends. The case received widespread media attention. Police arrested the husband and placed him in pretrial detention, where he remained awaiting trial as of October. The Department for Social Services took the child into protective custody.
The Department for Equal Opportunity within the Department for Social Services collaborated with various NGOs, including Frauenhaus and Infra, a women’s information and counseling organization, on a media campaign to publish regular articles in the Sunday newspaper Liewo in order to raise awareness of the issue of domestic violence.
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 2017 the national police recorded eight cases of sexual harassment, and Infra assisted in four cases of sexual harassment.
Coercion in Population Control: There were no reports of coerced abortion or involuntary sterilization.
Discrimination: Women enjoy the same legal rights as men. The government’s enforcement of the labor contract law and equal opportunity law was not entirely effective according to the LHRA and the Women’s Network (an umbrella organization of women’s NGOs), which stated that a lack of human and financial resources within the Department for Equal Opportunity prevented it from effectively enforcing the law.
Birth Registration: Citizenship is derived at birth from a child’s parents. Either parent may convey citizenship. A child born in the country to stateless parents may acquire citizenship after five years of residence. Children are registered at birth.
Early and Forced Marriage: The legal minimum age of marriage for both girls and boys is 18 years.
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. Possession or distribution of child pornography is a criminal offense, with penalties including up to three years in prison. In 2017 the national police recorded five cases of child sexual exploitation. The law sets the minimum age for consensual sex at 14; penalties for statutory rape are between one and 10 years’ imprisonment.
International Child Abductions: The country is not 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 https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/International-Parental-Child-Abduction/for-providers/legal-reports-and-data.html.
The Jewish community consisted of approximately 30 individuals. There were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.
Trafficking in Persons
There were no confirmed reports during the year that Liechtenstein was a source, destination, or transit country for victims of human trafficking.
Persons with Disabilities
The law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities.
The government’s implementation of laws and programs to ensure that persons with disabilities readily had access to employment, buildings, information, health services, the judicial system, and communications was not entirely effective. 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. The UN Human Rights Committee cited a lack of appropriate infrastructure and regulations for limiting disabled persons’ access to the labor market. 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 country’s remedial center. According to the Liechtenstein Association for Disabled Persons, however, only a third of all public kindergartens and schools were barrier-free, and there was a shortage of barrier-free, affordable housing for families with children with disabilities.
Acts of Violence, Discrimination, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
The law defines discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation as a criminal offense. It also prohibits incitement to hate and bias-motivated crimes based on an individual’s gender and sexual orientation.
The country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community issued no formal complaints of abuse or discrimination. According to ECRI, LGBTI students still experienced intolerance at schools, with many LGBTI students only deciding to come out after completing their schooling. LGBTI persons also experienced discrimination in housing and employment.