Rape and Domestic Violence: Rape of a person, regardless of gender, including spousal rape, is a criminal offense. Penalties for rape and sexual violence vary between six months’ and 15 years’ imprisonment, depending on the degree of violence and humiliation of the survivor, and between 10 years and lifetime imprisonment if the victim is killed. The penalties for rapes of a person, regardless of gender, are the same. 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 survivor’s home where the violence was committed. Penalties for domestic violence range from fines to lifetime imprisonment if the victim is killed. According to the law, those who immigrated to the country and who have been married to a citizen for less than five years are required to prove their survivor status or sufficient integration into the country’s society to avoid losing their marriage-based residence permits. The government enforced the law effectively.
In 2021 there were 101 police interventions registered under the law against spousal abuse, 27 of which led to criminal charges. Witnesses’ willingness to testify in abuse cases sometimes limited efforts to prosecute cases.
In 2021 the country’s women’s shelter, Frauenhaus, assisted 10 women affected by domestic violence. Frauenhaus provided counseling in 57 cases related to spousal violence. The women’s resource and counseling NGO Infra was contacted 20 times regarding gender-based violence. The Association for Male Questions counseled five men (one perpetrator and three survivors) on spousal violence and received three men in its shelter.
Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment of a person, regardless of gender, 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 bullying, including pressure, harassment, or blackmail tactics in the workplace, to be a crime. In 2020 the national police recorded eight cases of sexual harassment, and the NGO Infra assisted survivors in five cases of sexual harassment.
Reproductive Rights: There were no reports of coerced abortion or involuntary sterilization on the part of government authorities.
The government provided access to sexual and reproductive health services for survivors of sexual violence. Safe, effective, and affordable methods of family planning or contraception were available, and information was easily accessible. Emergency contraception was available as part of clinical management of rape. Abortion is only legal if the life of the mother is in danger, if the child is a result of rape or if the mother was underage. Health care for the management of complications arising from abortion was available in all cases.
Discrimination: The law provides the same legal status and rights for women as for men, including under family, religious, personal status, and nationality laws as well as laws related to labor, property, inheritance, employment, access to credit, and owning or managing businesses or property. The government’s enforcement of labor contract, equal opportunity, and discrimination law was not entirely effective. The LHRA received two complaints of gender-based discrimination in 2021. The Department for Equal Opportunity published a new guideline on gender-sensitive language and received an increase in human resources.
Systemic Racial or Ethnic Violence and Discrimination
The law prohibits acts of discrimination based on racist, xenophobic, or other reasons, with violators subject to up to two years of imprisonment. The law explicitly covers acts of spreading hatred or calls for violence against members of racial, ethnic, or religious minority groups. The government generally enforced the law effectively.
There were eight criminal complaints regarding discrimination, one conviction in a case of racially motivated discrimination and two convictions based on Holocaust denial in 2021. The LHRA reported that wearing a headscarf still led to discrimination in the labor market, which is not punishable under the law against discrimination. While acts of discrimination in the public sphere are covered by the criminal code, the private sphere, which includes employment, housing, and education, has no protection against discrimination.
The government did not condone or carry out violence or discrimination against members of racial, ethnic, or religious minority groups.
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. All children are registered at birth and birth registration was provided on a nondiscriminatory basis.
Child Abuse: The law protects children against sexual exploitation and sexual and child abuse, including inside the family. The law stipulates a reporting obligation for the Office of Social Services if it learns of or suspects sexual abuse of children and adolescents. There is an Ombudsman Office for Children and Young People. The Victims Assistance Office, which specializes in assistance and support for individuals who have been affected directly in their physical, psychological, or sexual integrity, also aided children. An interdisciplinary Expert Group against the Sexual Abuse of Children and Young People facilitated the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. In 2021 the country’s only women’s shelter, Frauenhaus, assisted six children.
Child, 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 commercial sexual exploitation of minors, sale, and grooming, including child sex trafficking. 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. Authorities effectively enforced these prohibitions. In 2021 police recorded three cases of child sexual abuse of minors. The law sets the minimum age for consensual sex at 14.
Under an agreement with the government, the Institute for Social Services’ section for child protection in Dornbirn, Austria, provided counseling for survivors of sexual abuse in the country.
The Jewish community consisted of fewer than 20 individuals. Antisemitic conspiracy theories were voiced in social media and during street protests against COVID-19 restrictions. During the year there were two convictions for antisemitic acts.
Trafficking in Persons
There were no confirmed reports during the year that traffickers exploited domestic or foreign victims in the country or that traffickers exploited domestic or foreign victims from the country abroad.
Acts of Violence, Criminalization, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Expression, or Sex Characteristics
Criminalization: No laws criminalize consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults.
Violence against LGBTQI+ Persons: There were no reports of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex (LGBTQI+) individuals.
Discrimination: The law prohibits discrimination by state and nonstate actors, based on gender and sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics and recognizes LGBTQI+ individuals, couples, and their families, particularly with respect to essential goods and services such as housing, employment, and access to government services such as healthcare. It also prohibits debasement, slander, and incitement to hate based on an individual’s gender and sexual orientation and prohibits the refusal of public or governmental services based on an individual’s gender and sexual orientation. The government generally enforced the law. The LHRA reported that this law may not be invoked in case of access to work, education, and housing as they legally belonged to the private sphere which was not protected by the law against discrimination. The constitution grants equality before the law to all citizens, but there is no legal precedent whether it would provide protection in a discrimination case. Citizens also had the option to bring a case to the European Court of Human Rights. The country’s LGBTQI+ community made two formal complaints during the year of abuse or discrimination, including against persons with HIV and AIDS. In May, the ban on access to fertility medicine and adoption of stepchildren by same-sex partners living in a registered partnership was lifted. Same-sex marriage is not permitted.
Availability of Legal Gender Recognition: Legal gender recognition, including nonassignment or registering a third gender, is not available.
Involuntary or Coercive Medical or Psychological Practices Specifically Targeting LGBTQI+ Individuals: There were no reports of so-called conversion therapy being practiced, but it was legally permitted. Involuntary medical or psychological practices are punishable under criminal law.
Restrictions of Freedom of Expression, Association, or Peaceful Assembly: There were no reports of undue restrictions on the freedom of expression, association, or peaceful assembly.
Persons with Disabilities
The government’s implementation of laws and programs requiring that persons with disabilities readily had access to education, employment, public buildings, information, health services, the judicial system, transport, and communications was not entirely effective. Government information and communication on disability concerns was provided in accessible format. According to the LHRA and the Liechtenstein Association for Persons with Disabilities (LAPD), there was some improvement in comparison with previous years. The revised Social Services Law came into force in September 2021. It required the government to inform clients of social institutions of measures taken and to evaluate restrictions on movement. Civil society organizations noted that persons with disabilities were well taken care of but lacked opportunities to participate in society and were not sufficiently integrated into the labor market and education systems.
As of September 2021, all websites and mobile applications of governmental offices must be adapted to the needs of disabled persons. Websites must be adapted within two years, mobile applications within 2.5 years. The Office for Social Services is responsible for surveilling the adaptation process and is required to publish a report every three years.
The law mandates that public kindergartens and schools as well as public transportation systems built after 2006 must be accessible to persons with disabilities. Children with disabilities were able to attend public schools or a segregated school established by the country’s remedial center. The LAPD noted that there was still a shortage of barrier-free, affordable housing for families with children with disabilities.
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. NGOs reported that the 2019 deadline was not met, and many old public buildings still lacked the necessary renovations. One cause was that renovations on historic buildings were subject to strict building codes. The law does not contain a penalty for noncompliance, but noncompliant building owners can be sued.
The law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities. There were no reports of laws or government actions or inactions limiting the rights of persons with disabilities to participate in civic life.