Access to justice


National machinery for the advancement of women


Temporary special measures


Stereotypes and harmful practices


Violence against women


Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution


Participation in political and public life




Employment and social security




Women’s economic empowerment


Disadvantaged groups of women


Marriage and family relations


Additional information




General Civil Code


Old Age and Survivors ’ Insurance


Unemployment Insurance


Asylum Act


Law on the Equality of Persons with Disabilities


Law on Occupational Pensions


International Commission for the Protection of the Alps


European Economic Area


European Free Trade Association


Marriage Act


European Union


Family Compensation Fund


Gender Equality Act


Higher Education Ordinance


inter alia


International Labour Organization


Disability Insurance


Disability Insurance Act


Liechtenstein Law Gazette


Liechtenstein Global Trust


Liechtenstein Society for Environmental Protection


Labour Market Service


Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein


Non-Governmental Organisation


Victims Assistance Act


Government Application


Constitutional Court Act


Criminal Code


State Employees Act


United Nations


This report, which was adopted by the Government of the Principality of Liechtenstein on 30 January 2018, is submitted under Article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women of 18 December 1979. It is the fifth periodic report submitted by Liechtenstein, covering the period from June 2009 to December 2017. The report was compiled by the Office for Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the offices of the National Administration responsible for the subject matters in question and taking into account information about the activities of various non-governmental organisations and the private sector. It was based on the list of issues contained in document CEDAW/C/LIE/QPR/5 of 21 July 2017 and created under the simplified reporting procedure. It covers the legislative, administrative, and other measures for the implementation of the Convention that took place during the reporting period.

All laws and ordinances referred to in the text are available at

Government of the Principality of Liechtenstein


1. Information and statistics, disaggregated by sex, age, nationality, religion and location, on the current situation of women in the State party, are required to monitor implementation of all areas covered by the Convention. In the light of the Committee ’ s previous concerns ( CEDAW/C/LIE/CO/4 , para. 2) and concluding observations (paras. 17 (a) and 41 (a)), please [1] indicate measures implemented by the State party to use this data for policymaking and programme development and to measure progress towards the implementation of the Convention Constitutional and legislative framework.

2.Since 2010, the Liechtenstein Institute has prepared the Human Rights Status Report on behalf of the Government. This report contains statistical data on about 100 topics relevant to human rights and highlights key developments and trends. The human rights situation of girls and women is presented especially in the areas of education and training, working life, wage differences, maternity allowances, maternity and parental leave, unemployment, old-age provision, childcare, divorce and inheritance law, sexual orientation, mortality and life expectancy, political rights and participation, domestic violence, civil rights, and migration and integration. The preparation of the human rights report relies on official statistics, internal databases from various offices, annual reports from governmental and non-governmental institutions, and information from relevant media reports and academic publications. The surveys make human rights problems and challenges visible and can thus be used as a basis for governmental programmes and measures to improve the human rights situation of girls and women.

3.All measures of the Equal Opportunities Unit of the Office of Social Services in the field of equality are aimed at eliminating discrimination and ensuring equality among people from different social groups. Accordingly, the Unit is committed to promoting equal opportunities in the areas of gender equality, disability, migration and integration, social disadvantage, and sexual orientation. In all areas, the measures taken also benefit girls and women in particular.

4.When developing projects and measures, the Equal Opportunities Unit pays particular attention to the current situation of girls and women in Liechtenstein. The 2017/2018 Catalogue of Measures of the Equal Opportunities Unit focuses on increasing the representation of women in politics as well as in leadership and decision-making positions and, as a related issue, on better compatibility of family and work. This specific focus is based on the outcome of the 2017 elections to the Liechtenstein Parliament, which resulted in a reduction of the proportion of women in Parliament from 20% to 12%, as well as on the results of the transnational project “Subject: Women Decide” (see answers to questions 6 and 13 for details) and on findings from the human rights report of the Liechtenstein Institute.

5.The planning of the measures of the Equal Opportunities Unit is also based on the relevant legal foundations, which include the Law on the Equality of Persons with Disabilities (Behindertengleichstellungsgesetz, BGlG; LGBl. 2006 No. 243) and the Gender Equality Act (Gleichstellungsgesetz, GLG; LGBl. 1999 No. 96) as well as obligations under international law, such as in particular the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Convention). In addition, the catalogue of measures is based on input and requests from the Liechtenstein Parliament. Various postulates, motions and one petition were submitted by Parliament to the Government in 2017 on the topics of family policy and gender equality, such as: the postulate on promoting families, increasing child allowances, and expanding standardised school times; the postulate on establishing equal treatment for families with children taken care of outside the home; the postulate on the future financing of nursing and care in old age; the motion on exempting costs of maternity; and the petition for a balanced ratio between women and men for the appointment of commissions and working groups etc.

6. Please provide information on the steps taken to incorporate the provisions of the Convention into national laws and to ensure the availability of effective remedies for all women, including disadvantaged groups of women, in the State party. Please also provide information on provisions of the Gender Equality Act on non-discrimination on the basis of sex in all areas covered by the Convention and whether it prohibits intersecting forms of discrimination, in line with articles 1 and 2(b) of the Convention and in compliance with the SDG Indicator 5.1.1. Please also provide examples, if any, of court decisions directly applying provisions of the Convention.

7.Liechtenstein uses the incorporation system or monist system. A ratified agreement, such as Convention, becomes part of the domestic law at the date of its entry into force, without the need for separate legislation. Before acceding to or ratifying any international convention or treaty, the compatibility of the domestic legislation with the provisions of the treaty is thoroughly examined. In cases of conflicting provisions, the Parliament either amends the domestic legislation at the same time as it approves the ratification of the treaty or it decides to make a reservation to the treaty. This approach was also taken in connection with the ratification of the Convention. The only reservation Liechtenstein has made concerns the restrictions on the scope of the Convention arising from the hereditary succession to the throne in the Princely House of Liechtenstein. Otherwise, the Liechtenstein law is assumed to be in line with the provisions of the Convention and to reflect them.

8.To ensure effective legal protection for all girls and women, Liechtenstein ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention in 2001, thereby accepting the individual complaints procedure under the Convention. The rights guaranteed by the Convention can be asserted in an individual complaints procedure before the Constitutional Court analogously to the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein (Landesverfassung, LV; LGBl. 1921 No. 15). Individual complaints to the Constitutional Court are available to all persons against final decisions or decrees issued by a public authority, and thus also to women violated in their rights. The Constitutional Court examines whether constitutionally guaranteed rights or rights guaranteed by international conventions for which the legislative power has explicitly recognised an individual right of complaint, have been violated (Article 15 of the Constitutional Court Act, Staatsgerichtshofgesetz, StGHG; LGBl. 2004 No. 32).

9.Legal protection for girls and women against discrimination is also guaranteed by the Gender Equality Act (GLG). The Gender Equality Act governs the legal claims and remedies of girls and women affected by discrimination in the workplace or in their access to or supply of goods and services. For the benefit of those affected, Article 6 GLG provides for a lesser burden of proof, so that merely a prima facie claim of discrimination must be made. Pursuant to Article 6 GLG, associations based in Liechtenstein are also entitled to initiate a legal action in their own name or on behalf of the complainant, provided that their articles of association aim to promote equality between women and men or to represent the interests of employees.

10.Substantively, the Gender Equality Act prohibits direct and indirect discrimination on the basis of gender, marital or family status, as well as pregnancy or maternity in employment relationships under private or public law and in the workplace in general. The same applies to access to and supply of goods and services available to the public. Liechtenstein law also provides legal protection against discrimination in other areas of life: e.g. the Law on the Equality of Persons with Disabilities, which prohibits direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of disability in the workplace and in the use of and access to buildings and facilities, public transport installations and vehicles, and private housing of a certain size. The law is an important precondition to combat multiple discriminations of women with disabilities.

11.Also, labour law expressly provides for the protection of the employee’s personality. The term “personality” must be interpreted in a broad sense and includes gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, etc.

12.In regard to effective legal protection from discrimination and multiple discrimination, the entry into force of the new § 283 of the Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch, StGB; LGBl. 1988 No. 37) in April 2016 is of particular note, introducing a comprehensive prohibition of discrimination. While prior to the revision of the article, only racial discrimination constituted a criminal offence, public incitement to hatred or discrimination on the basis of language, nationality, ethnicity, religion, ideology, gender, disability, age, or sexual orientation is now also a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment of up to two years. The term “gender” covers not only women and men, but also transsexuals and persons with ambiguous gender characteristics. It is also punishable to refuse to provide a service intended to be provided to the general public to a person or group of persons on the grounds referred to above. Prosecutors and judges received training in regard to these legislative amendments.

13.There were no court decisions during the reporting period that directly applied provisions of the Convention.

Access to justice

14. Please provide information on the impact of the Gender Equality Act regarding women ’ s access to justice, and specifically if it has been invoked before the court, arbitration office or administrative boards for cases of discrimination. Please also provide information on measures taken to provide legal aid and raise awareness on how to use legal remedies against discrimination based on sex and gender.

15.Women’s access to justice is fully guaranteed in Liechtenstein. There are no gender-specific restrictions. With regard to the legal protection of women against discrimination on the basis of gender, which was extended by the introduction of the Gender Equality Act, please refer to the portrayal of the legal claims and remedies in the answer to question 2.

16.According to the Liechtenstein Court of Justice, there have been two arbitration applications or claims under the Gender Equality Act since 2009; arbitration proceedings are always materially linked to a claim.

17.The newly founded Liechtenstein Association for Human Rights (Verein für Menschenrechte, VMR; see remarks under question 4) advises private individuals on human rights issues, assists victims of human rights violations, and informs the public about the human rights situation in Liechtenstein. As part of these core competences, girls and women may contact the association to obtain information on possible legal remedies in cases of gender-specific discrimination. To raise public awareness of gender-specific discrimination, the Association for Human Rights may launch information and awareness-raising campaigns.

18.Girls and women, like all affected parties, have access to legal aid in criminal and civil proceedings, which includes the exemption from legal fees.

National machinery for the advancement of women

19. Please provide information on the mandates and the financial, human and technical resources allocated to the Association for Human Rights (Verein für Menschenrechte in Liechtenstein) an inform on the institution taking up the responsibilities formally assumed by the Equal Opportunities Commission (Stabsstelle für Chancengleichheit). Please further indicate if these bodies provide legal counselling, and if they can lodge complains — either in their own name or in the name of an affected party — with the court. Please also inform the Committee whether the creation of the Association for Human Rights is part of a broader Human Rights Strategy, promoting of women ’ s rights.

20.In November 2016, the Liechtenstein Parliament passed the Law on the Association for Human Rights in Liechtenstein (Gesetz über den Verein für Menschenrechte in Liechtenstein, VMRG; LGBl. 2016 No. 504), which forms the legal basis for the Liechtenstein national human rights institution and entered into force on 1 January 2017. The Parliament also approved the financial contribution to the institution for the next three years, amounting to CHF 350,000 per year. To ensure that the new institution can operate in an independent manner, the legal form of a common-benefit association was chosen under the Law on Persons and Companies. According to the VMRG, the VMR has both ombudsman functions and a broad mandate to protect and promote human rights in Liechtenstein. Its tasks include advising authorities and private individuals on human rights issues, assisting victims of human rights violations, informing the public about the human rights situation in Liechtenstein, conducting investigations and recommending appropriate measures to authorities and private individuals, issuing opinions on draft laws and regulations and ratifying international conventions, and promoting dialogue and national and international cooperation with human rights bodies. According to Article 5 VMRG, the VMR may, with the consent of a victim of a human rights violation, participate in judicial and administrative proceedings either on behalf of or in support of the victim. The VMR adopted its articles of association in December 2016 and elected its board for the 2017–2020 term of office, consisting of seven competent persons from Liechtenstein and abroad. The secretariat has been operating since June 2017 and is staffed with three employees (1.5 full-time equivalents).

21.With the creation of an independent human rights institution in Liechtenstein on the basis of the Paris Principles, the Liechtenstein Government has responded to the demands of civil society as well as various UN and Council of Europe bodies for an independent contact and advisory body to promote and protect human rights. The creation of the VMR was also accompanied by administrative reforms in the fields of integration and equal opportunities. The public responsibilities of the former Equal Opportunities Unit were transferred to the Office of Social Services. Accordingly, since January 2017, the Office of Social Services is responsible in the field of equal opportunities through its newly created Equal Opportunities Unit. The autonomous responsibilities of the former Equal Opportunities Unit were delegated to the new human rights institution, as were the responsibilities of the Gender Equality Commission. In addition, the Ombuds Office for Children and Young People, which was established in 2009, was integrated into the VMR. The VMR receives public funding to carry out its autonomous responsibilities. The clear mandates and defined areas of responsibility ensure manageable structures and efficient workflows for both the VMR and the Equal Opportunities Unit of the Office of Social Services. The institution is regarded as an important achievement to ensure comprehensive human rights protection in Liechtenstein, creating crucial added value in this area.

Temporary special measures

22. Please provide information on measures taken to promote and accelerate de facto equality of women and men, including through the adoption of temporary special measures in the field of political life, employment and education (paras. 29 (a) and 35 (a)), based on provisions of the Gender Equality Act and in accordance with article 4 (1) of the Convention and the Committee ’ s general recommendation No. 25 (2004) on temporary special measures. Please also explain whether the Convention is used as a legal framework for their adoption and implementation. Please include information on enforcement, monitoring and outcomes of those measures, supported by statistical data.

23.The Convention, like the Gender Equality Act, serves as a basis for developing measures to promote equality between women and men in various areas of life. As a temporary special measure, Liechtenstein has offered a politics course for women for the past 14 years. The aim of this course is to increase the proportion of women in political office. Women are to be empowered and encouraged to contribute their concerns and potential to political bodies and the general public. This measure has proven to be particularly useful for the participating women, which is why the politics course will be offered again in 2018. Approximately 140 women have taken part in the politics course so far, some of whom subsequently became active in public and political functions.

24.The sharp decline in female Members of Parliament in the parliamentary elections of 2017 triggered a social debate on the introduction of a quota for women in Liechtenstein. Party presidents, Members of Parliament and Government Ministers, as well as voters are taking an active part in public events, letters to the editor, and various other forums in discussing the reasons for the low election chances of women and the necessary measures to improve the situation. I.a. the “Hi, Quota” (Hoi Quote) association was created, which advocates the introduction of a quota for women.

25.Every year, the Equal Opportunities Unit of the Office of Social Services provides financial resources to promote equal opportunities. In 2018, these amount to approximately CHF 110,000, of which about CHF 30,000 will be invested in NGO projects, CHF 15,000 for the women’s politics course, CHF 30,000 for the Equal Opportunities Award (organisation + prize money), and CHF 5,000 for the human rights report prepared by the Liechtenstein Institute. Approximately CHF 30,000 will be invested in the implementation of the Equal Opportunities Unit’s own projects, such as an open discussion round of women and men with Members of Parliament planned for March 2018, the “Role Models” exhibition scheduled for 2018, and a planned event on the compatibility of family and work. To measure the concrete benefit of public support, NGOs whose projects receive substantial financial support from the Equal Opportunities Unit send the Unit final reports evaluating the impact of the projects. The larger projects carried out by the Equal Opportunities Unit are also evaluated with regard to their ability to reach the target group, public relations, and funds used.

26.For further measures to promote de facto equality of women in education and the workplace, please see the answers to questions 6 and 10–14.

Stereotypes and harmful practices

27. Please provide information on the implementation and monitoring of measures taken to changing attitudes concerning the traditional roles of women in the family and in society, and on the effectiveness of those measures. Please specify the measures taken to address the stereotyped portrayal of women, including migrant women in the media. Please also indicate whether the State party has adopted a comprehensive policy, targeted at women and men, boys and girls to combat such traditional stereotypes, as previously recommended by the committee (para. 19 (a)) and accepted by the State party during the universal periodic review ( A/HRC/23/14 ).

28.For the purpose of counteracting gender-specific role models and stereotypes, various initiatives have been taken in Liechtenstein in recent years. Awareness-raising projects are carried out especially in schools as well as with young people and young adults. Children and young people are sensitised to gender equality issues and motivated to learn about occupations that are not gender-typical. They are encouraged not to be guided by stereotypical roles when choosing a career.

29.The transnational “Subject: Role Models” project from 2012 to 2014 is of note in this regard. The project aims to draw the attention especially of teenagers and young adults to stereotypes and role models in their own environment and encourages them to deal with them critically. In 2018, the Equal Opportunities Unit of the Office of Social Services is supporting a travelling exhibition on the topic of “Role Models”. The exhibition will be presented in a school centre and include a supporting programme that questions role models, clichés, and stereotypes in a humorous and interactive way (e.g. lectures, discussions, guided tours with school classes, etc.).

30.Also since 2012, the so-called “National Future Day — Change of Sides for Girls and Boys” has been held on an annual basis, enabling girls and boys to gain an insight into occupations that are not gender-typical. The aim of the National Future Day is to ensure that girls and boys do not base their career choices on stereotypical roles, but rather on their abilities and desires. The positive effect of the National Future Day is reflected in the fact that more and more companies are actively participating in it. The University of Liechtenstein has also supported the National Future Day for many years with special projects. Liechtenstein media coverage is correspondingly prominent and positive, which also contributes to raising awareness of the importance of breaking down role stereotypes for society as a whole.

31.For further initiatives and programmes at the school and training level for children and young people to address role stereotypes, see also the answer to question 11.

32.The State as an employer plays a key role in remedying role stereotypes. The new State Employees Act (Staatspersonalgesetz, StPG; LGBl. 2008 No. 144) adopted in 2008 expressly lays down the guarantee of gender equality as an objective of personnel policy (Article 4(2)(f) StPG). Accordingly, the training programme of the Liechtenstein National Administration aims to achieve de facto equality of women and men in society. It includes events on the topics of stereotypical roles at work, the promotion of women, and compatibility of family and work. Various continuing training courses specifically geared to the target group of women have focused on topics such as career prospects, status competence, self-confidence, and leadership. The courses offered by the National Administration are free of charge and open to all State employees.

33.In recent years, an internal working group of the Liechtenstein National Administration has been responsible for various initiatives with a direct link to gender equality issues, such as data collection on the situation of employees in the National Administration, gender-neutral job advertisements, the creation of guidelines on gender-inclusive language, part-time positions, job- and top-sharing and the compatibility of family and work.

34.For one week each in April and May 2016, a media analysis of the transnational project “Subject: Women Decide” focused on the media presentation of people who have a decision-making or leadership function in the fields of politics, administration, education, science, culture, social affairs, nursing and care, health, sport, agriculture and forestry, businesses, and economic organisations. The evaluation was performed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Of the total of 122 men and women in senior positions, 46% were women and 54% men. Women dominated reports on culture, education, and social affairs, while men dominated reports on business and politics. With regard to gender stereotypes, the report noted that the media used a factual, neutral style that did not assign gender-specific attributes to women or men. Deliberately, no distinction was made based on the nationality of the depicted persons and therefore no focus was placed on women with a migration background.

35.The coalition agreement between the two governing parties of Liechtenstein and the 2017–2021 Government Programme based on that agreement contain various objectives to remedy gender stereotypes and to promote de facto equality between women and men. The preamble of the coalition agreement states that the coalition partners will work to promote equal opportunities for women and men as well as solidarity with disadvantaged people and cooperation between the generations. In particular, the promotion of women in politics and public office is to be given special attention as part of an active gender equality policy. The coalition programme further aims to optimise the conditions for reconciling work and family life and to improve the choices between different models for families.

Violence against women

36. Please inform the Committee on the current legislation on the prevention, prohibition and prosecution of all forms of gender based violence against women, as well as on advancements in the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). Please provide updated data concerning violence against women, disaggregated by type of violence and by the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim, as well as on prosecutions and convictions of the crimes of domestic violence and marital rape, which reportedly remains prevalent in the country. Please also provide information on the attention being paid to such gender based violence against women during the processing of asylum applications. Please also indicate achievements and challenges in the implementation of the National Action Plan on Violence against Women and on steps taken to develop a new action plan ( CAT/C/LIE/CO/4 , para. 20).

37.Liechtenstein law contains comprehensive prohibitions of gender-specific violence against girls and women and thus serves the purpose of prevention and prosecution.

38.The violence protection law that entered into force in 2001, which provides for a preventive expulsion of the potential perpetrator by the police and a prohibition on entering the shared abode, forms the basis for combating domestic violence.

39.In 2011, the law governing sexual offences was adjusted with the goal of expanding the substantive legal protection of victims and the practical measures taken by the Government to combat violence against children and women as well as domestic violence at a legal level. In particular, the range of criminal offences that must be prosecuted ex officio was expanded. These offences now include cases of dangerous threats against close family members, stalking, rape or sexual assault in marriages and domestic partnerships, and coerced marriages. Ex officio prosecution ensures that prosecution is no longer tied to any limiting preconditions for the different forms of domestic violence.

40.A second concern of the 2011 reform was to strengthen victims’ rights in criminal procedure. Victims of offences must now be informed of their rights and, at their request, of the development of the case and of the release of the accused from detention. Victims of physical, psychological, or sexual violence whose emotional suffering is especially severe may assert special rights to considerate treatment. Furthermore, victims of criminal offences may join the criminal proceedings as private parties with their own rights. The amendments entered into force on 31 January 2012 (LGBl. 2012 No. 26). The general basis for supporting the victims of criminal offences continues to be the Victims Assistance Act (Opferhilfegesetz, OHG; LGBl. 2007 No. 228). On the basis of this law, the Victims Assistance Office was established in 2008. The Victims Assistance Office counsels victims of offences and their family members and provides the necessary medical, psychological, social, material, and legal assistance. In cases where it is unable to offer support, the Office provides information on other available assistance. Urgent immediate assistance is provided around the clock, and longer-term support is also offered.

41.The prevention and prosecution of gender-specific violence is also supported by the explicit anchoring of the prohibition of female genital mutilation in the Liechtenstein Criminal Code since 1 June 2011.

42.For 26 years, the Liechtenstein Women’s Home has offered counselling and emergency housing to women and children affected by domestic violence. The Government supports this indispensable organisation through a performance agreement in the amount of CHF 320,000 each year, which covers a large portion of the expenses of the Women’s Home. Women affected by violence also receive counselling and support from the NGO “infra — Information and Counselling Centre for Women”.

43.The work with perpetrators is also important as a preventive approach against violence. The Liechtenstein Probation Assistance association accompanies suspects, convicts, inmates, and releasees as well as injured parties and victims. It is an important partner in the prevention of violence, especially by working with perpetrators to deal with their offences and in order to achieve social reintegration and prevention of recidivism. The services provided by the association are funded fully by the State as part of an agreement with the Government.

44.The Association for Men’s Issues also advises, supports, and sensitises men using or ready to use violence. The Psychiatric-Psychological Services Division of the Office of Social Services also intervenes in cases of domestic violence and offers assistance to both victims and perpetrators.

45.On 24 February 2016, the Liechtenstein Government appointed a working group to review the need for action with a view to ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). The working group’s review showed that the Liechtenstein legal system largely meets the requirements of the Istanbul Convention. Liechtenstein consequently signed the Convention on 10 November 2016. In accordance with Liechtenstein practice, international agreements are not ratified until domestic law meets their requirements. In order to be able to ratify the Istanbul Convention, marginal gaps in the areas of jurisdiction, aggravating circumstances, and criminal provisions on forced marriage are being closed by adopting parts of the Austrian Criminal Code. These adjustments are expected to be made in 2018.

46.Since there is no offence of domestic violence in the Liechtenstein Criminal Code, cases of domestic violence are based in part on the offences of a dangerous threat (§107 StGB), coercion (§105 StGB), rape (§200 StGB), and bodily harm (§83 StGB). In 2016, the National Police intervened 19 times in cases of domestic violence. 21 women and 8 men were affected, and in two cases children and adolescents. In one case, an expulsion order was issued, while in the other cases, police mediation or police counselling took place. Charges were filed for each intervention. In the subsequent proceedings, there were four convictions for domestic violence.

Interventions by the National Police in cases of domestic violence since 2001 (number)

Type of interventions by the National Police in cases of violence since 2007

47.The Liechtenstein Women’s Home also collects figures on the admission applications it receives and how they are dealt with. However, these figures only provide an overview of the cases in which women turned to the Women’s Home; they therefore do not constitute a representative statistical survey. In 2016, 15 women were admitted to the Women’s Home (2015: 18; 2014: 17; 2013: 15; 2012: 19; 2011: 16; 2010: 16; 2009: 21), including women residing in Liechtenstein and in adjoining areas of neighbouring countries. In the vast majority of cases, the offender was the husband of the woman concerned (2016: 80%; 2015: 67%; 2014: 70%; 2013: 87%; 2012: 90%; 2011: 75%; 2010: 81%; 2009: 80%). The second-most common perpetrators are usually domestic partners (2016: 13%; 2015: 0%; 2014: 12%; 2013: 0%; 2012: 5%; 2011: 6%; 2010: 13%; 2009: 0%) or ex-husbands or former domestic partners (2016: 0%; 2015: 22%; 2014: 6%; 2013: 0%; 2012: 0%; 2011: 13%; 2010: 0%; 2009: 10%).

48.There are currently no comprehensive statistical surveys in Liechtenstein that could illustrate the specific extent of domestic violence. However, the available figures do not suggest that women in Liechtenstein are more likely to be victims of domestic violence than women in other countries.

49.Gender-specific grounds for asylum are explicitly provided for in Article 2(1)(a) and 2(2) of the Asylum Act (Asylgesetz, AsylG; LGBl. 2012 No. 29) as a basis for granting refugee status. Liechtenstein is aware of its responsibility in this regard — especially as a member of the Schengen/Dublin area — and treats gender-specific violence with the necessary care. Where there are concrete indications of gender-specific persecution or where the situation in the country of origin indicates gender-specific persecution, the asylum seeker is interviewed by persons of the same sex, unless there are specific reasons for not doing so. The Migration and Passport Office has trained and sensitised staff members who deal with cases of gender-specific violence in exclusively female teams at the first signs of gender-specific violence. Already during the entry interview, female asylum seekers are given the opportunity to state their reasons for fleeing. It goes without saying that Liechtenstein also complies with the non-refoulement principle in cases of gender-specific violence, as set out in Article 3 AsylG. This entails examining the situation in the home country or country of origin, which is ultimately taken into account in every asylum decision. In addition, care is taken to avoid gender-specific threats when accommodating female asylum seekers and refugees. The Liechtenstein Refugee Assistance association accommodates families with children and women travelling alone separately from men travelling alone. The asylum centre also has a separate wing for women.

50.On the basis of the national action plan against domestic violence, the transnational project “S.I.G.N.A.L.” was carried out from March 2009 to July 2010. The project was designed to inform physicians, family helpers, and nursing staff about the health impact of violence and to draw public attention to the information folder “Signal against domestic violence — Guidelines for medical practice (S.I.G.N.A.L.)”. The S.I.G.N.A.L. information folder contained extensive documentation material for medical personnel to be able to recognise, document, and treat domestic and sexualised violence professionally. The information folder included the guide “Violence against women in marriage and partnership — How can I help?” for family members, relatives, friends, acquaintances, neighbours and colleagues as well as emergency cards. The emergency cards provide information on domestic violence and the telephone numbers of support organisations such as the police, the Women’s Home, and the Victims Assistance Office. Another part of the project was the exhibition “Behind the Facade” in Liechtenstein and the Austrian state of Vorarlberg. The exhibition dealt with topics such as the social causes of domestic violence, the dynamics of violence, different forms of violence, as well as witnessing violence, and provided information on the development of relevant legislation, the process of seeking help, and possibilities for support.

51.The evaluation of the S.I.G.N.A.L. project showed good results with regard to the sensitisation of physicians, nursing staff, and the general public. Subsequently, no new national action plan was drawn up. On the basis of the experience gained in connection with the project, however, the emergency cards were translated into eight languages. They are reprinted each year and made available in medical practices, hospitals, municipal administrations, and the National Administration. Together with the emergency cards, the guide “Violence against women in marriage and partnership — How can I help?” also continues to be distributed.

52.In cooperation with various NGOs, the Government also participates in the international campaign “16 Days against Violence against Women”, which takes place each year from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day). The goal of the campaign is to sensitise the public to the issue of violence against women, to increase the publicity of counselling offices, and to promote violence-free conflict solutions.

53.The Equal Opportunities Unit of the Office of Social Services has for many years carried out the awareness campaign “Violence — No way!” (Gewalt kommt nicht in die Tüte) in cooperation with the Women’s Home. As part of the campaign, about 33,000 bread bags labelled with the slogan “Violence — No way!” are distributed in Liechtenstein bakeries around the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls. With a resident population of 37,877, the number of bread bags distributed contributes to a wide reach of the campaign. Thanks to the fact that the bread bag campaign is officially opened by the Minister of Social Affairs in the presence of the media, it is given further weight and social attention.

54.The Equal Opportunities Unit of the Office of Social Services, the Victims Assistance Office, and the Migration and Passport Office also take part in the meetings of the NGO Working Group on Domestic Violence. The NGOs Women’s Home and “infra — Information and Counselling Centre for Women” are represented in this working group. For the year 2018, the NGO working group is planning a campaign to raise awareness of the negative effects of domestic violence. The Equal Opportunities Unit will participate in this campaign.

Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution

55. Please provide information on the outcome of discussions of the Round Table on Human Trafficking, established in 2006 ( CEDAW/C/LIE/Q/4/Add.1 , para. 28). Please also inform on mechanisms established for the identification of victims of trafficking, as well as on referral mechanisms. Please also inform on measures taken to ensure that asylum applications are dealt with in a gender-sensitive manner, taking into account the age of the applicants in order to respond to the specific protection needs of women and girls who are victims of trafficking, and to ensure that temporary residence permits, protection and support are provided to all victims of trafficking (para. 27).

56.The Round Table on Human Trafficking, which is made up of members of the police, the Migration and Passport Office, the Office of Economic Affairs, the Office of the Public Prosecutor, the Office for Foreign Affairs, and the Victims Assistance Office, monitors developments in the field of human trafficking closely and, if necessary, takes measures to prevent and combat them. In 2017, the Round Table revised the Guidelines for Combating Human Trafficking, which were first issued in 2007 and define responsibilities and procedures for cases of trafficking in human beings. The Government approved the revised guidelines in September 2017. The Round Table has also developed a procedure for identifying and responding to child beggars; this procedure has been announced in the relevant governmental offices to ensure appropriate treatment and to help clarify whether these minors are victims of human trafficking. The Round Table also discusses international developments such as the obligations arising from the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and Liechtenstein’s commitment to combating illicit financial flows in connection with human trafficking.

57.Liechtenstein is a State party to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention; LGBl. 2008 No. 72) and its protocols against the smuggling of migrants (LGBl. 2008 No. 73) and the prevention, suppression and punishment of trafficking in persons, especially of women and children (LGBl. 2008 No. 74). Since May 2016, Liechtenstein has also been a party to the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. The definition of human trafficking in the Criminal Code (§ 104a StGB) is in conformity with that of the protocol and the Council of Europe Convention.

58.So far, only few cases of trafficking have surfaced in Liechtenstein. Dancers from third countries working in nightclubs who were granted short-term residence permits until February 2016 were identified as an especially vulnerable group. The “Magdalena” prevention project, which was launched in 2009, was discontinued in February 2016, as such short-term residence permits are no longer issued. As part of this project, dancers from third countries employed in Liechtenstein were required to take part in information events at which representatives of the authorities and the Victims Assistance Office informed them about labour-, social security-, tax-, immigration-, and victims assistance law as well as about inspections and human trafficking. The dancers were also given a fact sheet with helpful contact addresses. The monthly events aimed to prevent possible exploitative conditions in the nightclub scene and to give potential victims of trafficking access to counselling and victim support. Employers were informed about the content and mandatory nature of the event. Between 2009 and 2016, 836 people attended the information events. The project was very successful. Participating women took the opportunity to ask questions and address their specific problems.

59.The information events have not been held since February 2016 because the employment of dancers from EEA countries cannot be made dependent on the attendance of such events. The Round Table on Human Trafficking has, however, compiled the most important information on rights and obligations, as well as public authority contacts, in a leaflet that is distributed to dancers. The leaflet is available in four languages. In addition, the National Police and the Migration and Passport Office have increasingly carried out checks since the information events were discontinued, in which residence status, employment conditions, salary payments, and the accommodation of the dancers are examined. The Round Table on Human Trafficking continues to observe developments in this area and will take further action as necessary.

60.During the reporting period, there were no asylum applications from girls or women in Liechtenstein that gave rise to concerns that they were victims of human trafficking. As explained in the answer to question 7, gender-specific reasons for asylum can be invoked as a basis for being granted refugee status according to the Liechtenstein Asylum Act (Article 2(1)(a) and 2(2)). Specially trained female employees of the Migration and Passport Office take care of the girls and women concerned in suspected cases. Finally, Article 9 of the Asylum Ordinance (Asylverordnung, AsylV; LGBl. 2012 No. 153) contains special procedural provisions for minors. In cases that involve unaccompanied minors or if necessary in cases involving accompanied minors, the Children And Youth Division of the Office of Social Services is called upon. Unaccompanied minors are also provided with a confidant and a legal aid. Accommodation and care is arranged as appropriate (e.g. living communities for children and young people). Persons interviewing minors seeking asylum must take account of particular needs owed to their minority. The Migration and Passport Office may consult a psychologist from the Office of Social Services for this purpose.

61. Please provide updated information on the extent of prostitution in the State party, including data disaggregated by sex, age and nationality on the phenomenon. Please provide updated information on the applicable legal and policy framework on prostitution and sexual exploitation on its territory and by its citizens outside of its territory. Please also inform on activities implemented to protect and support women in prostitution and provide data on support granted by the interdisciplinary Expert Group against the sexual abuse of children and young people. Please also provide information on action plans and other measures taken to prevent the exploitation of women and girls in prostitution, and through pornography. Please also indicate whether measures exist to support women in prostitution who wish to exit, including by guaranteeing their access to alternative means of livelihood.

62.During the reporting period from 2009 to 2017, the National Police carried out a total of seven investigative proceedings into suspected cases of prostitution (§§ 210, 215a, 216, and 217 StGB). Three proceedings have been discontinued, while four are still pending. The following data was collected on the persons concerned in connection with the investigations:

Number of persons









Male (Ladyboy)














Dom. Republic













63.Under §§ 210, 215, 216, 217 StGB, pimping, cross-border trafficking in prostitution, offering for prostitution, and leading to prostitution are prohibited by law in Liechtenstein under threat of monetary penalties and imprisonment. According to § 106 StGB, a person who coerces a person into prostitution is liable for aggravated coercion. Under § 215a StGB, minors are accorded special protection. It is a criminal offence to recruit a minor to engage in prostitution or to participate in a pornographic performance or to offer or arrange such a minor to or for a third party for that purpose, even if such person already engages in prostitution. It is likewise punishable to exploit a minor who engages in prostitution or participates in a pornographic performance in order to obtain a pecuniary benefit for oneself or another person. Any person who commits the act against an underage person is punished with imprisonment of six months to five years.

64.The Criminal Code also protects against sexual exploitation through prohibitions of rape (§ 200), sexual assault (§ 201), sexual harassment of underage persons (§ 203(2)), sexual abuse of a defenceless or mentally impaired person (§ 204), aggravated sexual abuse of underage persons (§ 205), sexual abuse of underage persons (§ 206), endangerment of the morals of underage persons or adolescents (§ 207), sexual abuse of minors (§ 208), initiation of sexual contacts with underage persons (§ 209), immoral influence on underage persons (§ 209a), abuse of a relationship of authority (§ 212(1)), and arrangement of sexual contacts with minors in return for a valuable consideration (§ 214).

65.Apart from the offences of offering for or leading to prostitution and pimping (§§ 210, 215, 216), the Liechtenstein criminal law applies to the enumerated offences irrespective of the criminal laws of the place where the act has been committed, even abroad, if the perpetrator or the victim is a Liechtenstein citizen or has his or her place of residence or habitual abode in Liechtenstein, if the act has violated other Liechtenstein interests, or if the perpetrator was, at the time of the act, a foreign national who is in Liechtenstein and cannot be extradited.

66.Liechtenstein ratified the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography in 2013 and the Optional Protocol on the corresponding communications procedure in 2017. In addition, the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention) entered into force for Liechtenstein on 1 January 2016. The Lanzarote Convention obliges Member States to criminalise offences concerning child prostitution and a wide range of offences that qualify as sexual exploitation and abuse of children. In order to implement the agreement, Liechtenstein’s criminal jurisdiction was extended for certain offences committed abroad.

67.The Expert Group against Sexual Abuse of Children and Young People was set up by the Government to offer a suitable model for the professional processing of (suspected) cases of sexual abuse involving children and young people in Liechtenstein. The Expert Group is a multi-professional advisory body for institutions and individuals concerned with sexual abuse and a contact point for those affected. As part of the coaching model with which the Expert Group has been tasked by the Government, the Expert Group is responsible for developing an adequate approach to individual cases with the involvement both of specialists (therapists, physicians, school psychologists, etc.) as well as with the affected persons themselves and/or their family members. In addition, the Expert Group is responsible for carrying out public outreach, developing concrete concepts for action, defining standards, launching prevention projects, arranging therapies, and organising targeted training.

68.Between 2009 and 2017, the Expert Group dealt with 79 suspected cases in total. It is spoken of “suspected cases”, given that individuals with any kind of suspicion of sexual abuse — no matter how vague — can turn to the Expert Group and receive counselling. As a rule, mainly family members, educators, and specialists turn to the Expert Group, as opposed to directly affected children or young people. As the figures illustrate, several children and young people may be affected by a single case. 60% of the victims are female and 30% are male. The age of the affected children and young people ranges from infants to adults. In two suspected cases, counselling was provided for individuals who were of legal age, which represented an exceptional situation due to special circumstances.

69.In the years 2009–2017, the following data was collected with regard to the suspected cases and the identity of the victims:


Suspected cases

Total number

of victims

Female victims

Male victims

Age range

of victims






7 – 19






6 – 17






0 – 14






3 – 16






4 – 14






4 – 15






2 – 14






3 – 15






5 – 20








70.As mentioned in the answer to question 8, concrete measures are being taken to support women who are particularly vulnerable to becoming victims of trafficking or prostitution. Following the discontinuation of the “Magdalena” project, the Round Table on Human Trafficking prepared a fact sheet for foreign dancers and DJs, and it closely monitors developments in this area in order to identify any need for action and develop suitable measures in a timely manner.

71.The Office of Social Services offers concrete help and support to all people in distress, including women who want to leave prostitution. The women are advised in personal, social, and financial matters, and they receive information about social insurance, placement in work projects, help with finding accommodation, and financial support.

Participation in political and public life

72. Please provide updated sex-disaggregated data on the situation of women in political and public life. Please also inform whether the reasons for the lack of interest of the Women ’ s pool, leading to its dissolution, have been assessed and provide information on the results of the study on “ Non-Candidacies in the 2011 Municipal Elections ” . Please also elaborate on measures taken, including the use of quotas, to increase the number of women in elected and appointed bodies, particularly in decision-making positions both in the public (the legislature, executive, judiciary, diplomatic service and in senior positions in the Government and in academia) and private sectors at national, regional and local levels, in line with the SDG Target 5.5. Please also provide information on mechanisms available for monitoring the impact of those measures. Please further indicate if campaigns to raise awareness are conducted on the importance for society as a whole of participation by women in decision-making as well as for the necessary empowerment of women.

73.In the current term of office (2017–2021) — and in the two preceding terms of office (2009–2013 and 2013–2017) — the number of women serving as Ministers in the five-member Government is two (40%). Since 2005, between 20% and 24% of Members of the Liechtenstein Parliament had been women. In the parliamentary elections of 5 February 2017, there was unfortunately a substantial decline in the representation of women. Three women were elected to the 25-member Parliament, corresponding to a share of 12%. In large parts of Liechtenstein’s society, the result caused incomprehension, triggering ongoing discussions about the reasons as well as a purposeful approach and possible measures. In the current term of office (2015–2019), one of the 11 municipalities is headed by a woman mayor. At the municipal council level, women account for 17% of the members in the current term of office (2015–2019).

74.The Women’s Pool was created in 1999. Through the Women’s Pool, women residing in Liechtenstein, i.e. both Liechtensteiners and women without Liechtenstein citizenship, made themselves available for work in commissions and working groups. The initiative was based on the assumption that participation in such institutions was a good preparation and stepping stone for work in political bodies such as municipal councils or the Liechtenstein Parliament. About 60 women from a wide range of professional and social backgrounds registered with the Women’s Pool. However, due to the fact that membership in a political party was important for being asked to serve on a commission or working group or in any other political mandate, the Women’s Pool had little success. In addition to the prerequisite of party membership, it was also the waning interest of women that contributed to the dissolution of the Women’s Pool in June 2010.

75.The 2011 study ordered by what was then the Gender Equality Commission, titled “Non-Candidacies in the 2011 Municipal Elections”, examined the question of why women and men asked to run for office decided against doing so. The study provided clues as to which factors are decisive for motivating more women to run for office in the future. Among the men, there were four main reasons why they refrained from running for a municipal council: an already substantial professional burden, unfavourable timing, an already strong involvement in an association or other projects, and distaste for a predominance of power politics over substantive policymaking. The reasons cited by women for their decision not to run for office differed markedly from those of men in some cases. The focus was on distaste for a predominance of power politics over substantive policymaking, aversion to the experience of election campaigning, family burdens, an already substantial professional burden, a lack of need to be in the public eye or to serve in a political function, the desire to work in associations or concrete projects, and unfavourable timing.

76.The individuals who decided against running for office were asked for suggestions on how to improve the parties’ search for candidates. Both women and men were in favour of greater cooperation of the parties and new approaches such as searching for candidates by way of advertisements, introducing quotas, or childcare during municipal council meetings. The study concludes with the following sentence, which can be understood as a call to the Liechtenstein parties: “Since the recruitment especially of women for municipal work presents the parties with great difficulties, sending signals in the direction of constructive and substantive policymaking as well as signs of renewal and goodwill would be helpful.”

77.Greater representation of women in political bodies as well as in leadership and decision-making positions is the focal point of the 2017–2018 action plan of the Equal Opportunities Unit at the Office of Social Services. The measures include the 15th politics course for women in February 2018, the content of which is presented in the answer to question 5. Public discussion rounds with female Members of Parliament have also been held twice a year for many years on current issues. Due to the fact that only three women are serving in Parliament during the current term from 2017 to 2021, the open discussion round with the title “Without women, you can’t make a state” will be modified this year. In 2018 for the first time, it will be held as a moderated open discussion round with the presidents of the political parties in the first part and a discussion round with Members of Parliament in the second part. Both parts will be prefaced by short input speeches. By including the party presidents and the male Members of Parliament, the issues of the difficult search for female candidates and the low election chances of women will be discussed with the inclusion of a male perspective.

78.In addition, various projects of NGOs are supported by the Equal Opportunities Unit or carried out in cooperation with NGOs with the aim of promoting the active political representation of women.

79.In this context, the overarching transnational project “Subject: Women Decide” is of note, which took place from August 2015 to November 2017. This project is presented in the answers to questions 6 and 13. The aim of the project was to actively promote the representation of women in leadership and decision-making positions. The project included short courses titled “Fit for Politics”, workshops on social media and tutorials for journalists, a transnational symposium, and a Girls’ Parliament for young women between the ages of 14 and 16. At the end of 2016, two studies were also presented to the public with data surveys on the proportion of women in media coverage and in leadership positions.

80.The project “Subject: Women Decide” is currently being evaluated in terms of its concrete impact. The Equal Opportunities Unit evaluates the major projects it carries out with regard to their ability to reach the target group, public relations, and funds used. In this way, the impact of the measures taken and supported can be determined.

81.As an awareness-raising campaign to make women and their political achievements visible, in 2018 the Equal Opportunities Unit is planning a series of portraits in the media with (formerly or currently) politically active women discussing their political experiences. The series of portraits is especially important in view of the municipal council elections in 2019, in order to illustrate the political engagement of women in the public arena.


82. Please provide updated information on measures taken to diversify academic and vocational choices for girls and boys and to encourage women and girls to choose non-traditional fields of education, such as STEM (science, technology, including digital technology, engineering and medicine), and in corresponding careers (para. 31). Please also inform on measures taken to guarantee that teachers at all levels benefit of continued training on ways in which their behaviours contribute to gender stereotyping. Please also inform on incentives used to ensure the representation of women in School leadership positions, as docents and professors, as well as in the Office of Education and inspectorates, especially in tertiary educational institutions (para. 33).

83.Children and young people in Liechtenstein are sensitised at an early age to make their education and career choice dependent not on their gender identity or the stereotypes associated with it, but rather to let their decisions be guided by their inclinations, interests, and abilities.

84.The transnational “Subject: Role Models” project, which was carried out in 2012–2014, aimed to broaden the spectrum of roles played by women and men in work and family life, counteract role stereotypes, and encourage young people, women, and men to embark on new and unusual paths. The implementation of the project included a transnational survey of young people and young adults on their role behaviour, a cross-border public outreach campaign with posters, flyers, and advertisements, an interactive travelling exhibition (“roles:parcour”), and a series of lectures (“roles:talks”) for multipliers. Liechtenstein funded the project together with the Austrian state of Vorarlberg and the Swiss canton of Graubünden.

85.In August 2017, the pepperMINT experimentation laboratory was opened in Liechtenstein with the aim of inspiring both girls and boys to get excited about scientific and technical careers. Starting already at the kindergarten level, the pepperMINT laboratory aims to promote a stronger focus on STEM subjects (in German, MINT subjects: mathematics, information technology, natural sciences, technology). The participation of school classes is voluntary and free of charge.

86.For the “National Future Day — Change of Sides for Girls and Boys”, which has been held annually since 2012, please see the answer to question 6.

87.Another important measure to identify and respond to stereotypical or gender-specific tendencies in the education of children and young people is monitoring in the field of education (see Education Statistics, School Statistics, Publication: School Performance Surveys in Liechtenstein 2000–2014). A look at the current Education Statistics indicates, for example, that there is an increasing proportion of boys in the Oberschule. Gender differences are also considerable at the special education level, where the proportion of boys is much higher than that of girls. These developments must be monitored and analysed more closely. Another important indicator regarding compulsory schools is the annual standard examination. Differences in performance between the sexes are examined and appropriate measures taken if necessary.

88.Also at the level of career choice, various offerings support young women in making a career choice that is independent of gender-specific stereotypes. Teachers at Secondary Level I prepare young people for their choice of career in the classes provided for this purpose. In July 2010, the project “Redesign of the Ninth School Year” was launched. The goal of the project is to optimise the transition from compulsory schooling to further education. Measures include status review discussions at the end of the eighth school year, a reorientation of the ninth school year toward more individualised support, and strengthening of cooperation between the school, parents, and vocational counselling. The revision of the Education Act stipulates that comprehensive status review discussions between teachers and students must be held in the eighth school year with the involvement of parents. The opportunities for individual support based on these discussions in the form of project lessons and accompanying counselling services provided by the Office for Vocational Training and Career Counselling in the ninth school year are an important instrument for shaping the process of school and career choice. The process also includes a self-assessment of the students and thus contributes to a more conscious career decision. In discussions with students and parents, teachers have the opportunity to draw attention to stereotypical, gender-specific decision-making patterns and alternative educational paths.

89.There are also various support offerings for young women to help them choose a specific career. The online platform “next step” presents all job offers available in Liechtenstein on a single website. The organisers of “next-step” also host annual vocational and education days for secondary level students, during which apprenticeship companies, bridging programmes, vocational guidance centres, and higher vocational schools present themselves. “”, a joint project of the Economic Chamber Liechtenstein and the Liechtenstein Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also aims to introduce young people to the wide range of possible career training opportunities. During a vocational week, students in the eighth school year gain insight into various careers. During that week information and events on career choice and the search for apprenticeships are offered to young people and parents.

90.Liechtenstein does not have its own teacher training college. The training of Liechtenstein teaching staff mainly takes place in Switzerland. All teacher training colleges in Switzerland are based on Curriculum 21, which covers topics such as social diversity in gender roles and relationships as well as different family models already in the first cycle (kindergarten). Taking note of differences without judging them is an important principle of the curriculum. The topics of gender and diversity are also addressed in the planned teaching materials for Curriculum 21. Discriminatory differences in public school teaching were abolished a long time ago. For example, there are no longer separate classes for needle- and handicrafts.

91.The current Liechtenstein curriculum enshrines the promotion of a tolerant and open-minded attitude toward the world as an important goal. Discrimination of any kind is not tolerated. Gender issues are integrated into the “People and Environment” cluster (sub-cluster “Religion and Culture” or “Life Skills”) and are discussed in the classroom from kindergarten onwards. Teachers are particularly sensitised to the use of gender-inclusive language in their training.

92.The selection of teaching materials also pays attention to a gender-sensitive presentation. One of the evaluation criteria for “good teaching materials” is the balanced communication of content with regard to gender. In addition, there are teaching materials that deal directly with gender issues (e.g. “you’re just as good!” (mach es gleich!), a learning portfolio on gender for students ages 12 and up).

93.Liechtenstein participates in the International University of Lake Constance IBH, whose Gender & Diversity Working Group is developing recommendations for gender- and diversity-oriented university development. The working group supplies a pool of experts with the mandate to transfer knowledge, encourage the exchange of successes and projects, and implement the recommendations for gender- and diversity-oriented university development. It also organises specialist events in this area.

94.As one of the accreditation criteria for Liechtenstein higher education institutions in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance (Verordnung über das Hochschulwesen, HSV; LGBl. 2011 No. 337), it is verified whether the institution has set up a gender equality commission or provides access to such a commission and whether gender equality is achieved within the institution.

95.The University of Liechtenstein also has its own Gender and Diversity Commission and participates in several projects within the framework of EU education and research programmes with a focus on gender equality in educational and professional fields such as computer science, technology and digital entrepreneurship. Just recently, the university also commissioned a youth study, which deals in part with the gender-specific understanding of roles of young people.

Employment and social security

96. It is indicated that the median wage of women is about 17 per cent lower than the wage earned by men. Reportedly, the wage gap is even bigger in the private sector. Please provide information on measures taken to narrow the pay gap and to ensure full respect for the principle of equal pay for work of equal value in the private sector.

97.The Liechtenstein Government supports various projects and measures to eliminate unjustified wage inequalities between women and men. Wage surveys commissioned by the former Equal Opportunities Unit on wage (in) equality in the National Administration in 2007 and 2012 came to the conclusion that there was no wage discrimination in the National Administration. In concrete terms, this means that the same salary is paid for the same job profile. However, fewer women than men are employed in higher professional positions in the National Administration, and 54% of women are employed part-time, compared with only 10% of men. Consequently, one of the main tasks remains to get women into higher professional positions.

98.In 2014, the “pay respect” project of the Liechtenstein Employees Association (Liechtensteiner ArbeitnehmerInnenverband, LANV) received the recognition prize in the context of the Government’s Equal Opportunities Award. The Government has granted the Equal Opportunities Award for more than 15 years. The prize is endowed with CHF 15,000 and awarded to projects that contribute to greater equality of opportunities in the areas of gender equality, disability, social disadvantage, age, migration, integration, and sexual orientation. The Liechtenstein Government also supports the annual Equal Pay Day carried out every year since 2009, which aims to raise awareness of wage discrimination against women. In cooperation with Switzerland, the “Wage-Van” — a mobile travelling exhibition — came to Vaduz in 2015. On this occasion, numerous events were held, including brief counselling sessions for young women, a seminar on salary negotiations, and a discussion round with female Members of Parliament. In counselling sessions, the Office for Vocational Training and Career Counselling also prepares women for wage negotiations. These negotiations are rehearsed individually in role plays.

99.These activities are having an impact: The difference between average monthly wages for women and men has been steadily decreasing over the past ten years. According to the most recent issue of the Wage Statistics, in 2014 the pay gap between women and men was 16.5% compared with 20% in 2006. In the youngest group of employees (ages 20–24), the pay gap between women and men — already at a low level — fell even further in 2014: from 3.4% in 2012 to 1.4% in 2014.

100. Please provide information on initiatives taken to increase employment opportunities for women in traditionally male-dominated areas, and on measures taken to effectively address vertical labour market segregation, including on results achieved through the implementation of priority measures to increase the share of women in management positions.

101.The measures taken by the Liechtenstein Government to increase the proportion of women in professions traditionally occupied by men already start at the school level, including projects aimed at eliminating stereotypes when choosing a career. Of particular note are the “National Future Day — Change of Sides for Girls and Boys”, the “Role Models” exhibition planned for 2018, the “Profile+” project of the NGO “infra — Information and Counselling Centre for Women”, the “Subject: Role Models” project, and the opening of the pepperMINT experimentation laboratory. For a more detailed description of the initiatives mentioned, see the answers to questions 6, 11 and 14. The politics course for women, which has already been carried out for several years, also aims to improve the professional opportunities of women in male-dominated careers (see the answer to question 5). In addition, the Equal Opportunities Unit plans to grant the Equal Opportunities Award on an alternating basis (every second year) as an award for family-friendly businesses. The first award for a family-friendly business is scheduled for 2019.

102.The transnational project “Subject: Women Decide”, which was carried out in the years 2015 to 2017, encouraged and strengthened girls and young women in becoming involved in decision-making bodies and to strive for political office or a leadership or decision-making position. The project raises awareness of the situation of women in decision-making positions and addresses women and gender equality issues in the media. To that end, transnational data surveys were conducted on the representation of women in politics, leadership, and decision-making functions and on the presence of women in leadership positions in the media. The Amazone association was commissioned to conduct a transnational Girls’ Parliament for Liechtenstein, Graubünden, and Vorarlberg. In workshops, girls between the ages of 14 and 16 were prepared for their appearance in the Girls’ Parliament, which was also attended by politicians from Liechtenstein, Austria, and Switzerland responsible for social affairs.

103.Other important measures are the advisory services provided by the Office for Vocational Training and Career Counselling. Advice on careers and courses of study is always based on interests and skills, never on gender. This is based on the premise that occupations do not have a gender, and accordingly that counselling relating to education should be gender-neutral. Starting in 2018 and in cooperation with the NGO “infra — Information and Counselling Centre for Women”, different “models of life” will be discussed in workshops at Liechtenstein’s academic-track secondary school (Gymnasium) to prepare students for choosing their higher education studies. These workshops will sensitise young women and men to the fact that there are different ways of reconciling work and family life and that women can also be the principal earner of the family or pursue a career.

104.For measures to promote the compatibility of work and family life, see the answers to question 14.

105. Please provide information on measures taken to facilitate balancing of work and family life, such as increasing the number and capacity of “ day structures ” , ensuring flexible and part-time work arrangements for men, and encouraging fathers to take advantage of these possibilities (para. 37). Please also provide information of beneficiaries of the “ Coming back ” programme after prolonged absence due to family work and in the field of work they have been reintegrated in.

106.The Government has taken various measures in recent years to improve the compatibility of work and family life. In particular, these measures include promoting the expansion of after-school programmes outside the home, day care centres and other day care arrangements, and the introduction of all-day public schools. In order to make it easier for parents to stay in their jobs, the National Administration set up a childcare facility in 2002 as the first employer in Liechtenstein, and offers part-time employment.

107.Overall, the number of day care spots has more than tripled since 2000, and the supply now meets the demand among preschool-age children. The supply of after-school programmes and lunch tables for school children has also been strongly expanded thanks to the rising demand. In addition, the introduction of longer standardised school hours and voluntary arrival and leaving times at schools, including lunch tables, is being considered. Liechtenstein also has several public all-day schools and one private all-day school. The Government subsidises after-school programmes and day care options outside the home, which are continuously being optimised with the help of suppliers, municipalities, and the private sector. In spring 2015, the Government took note of a report on the situation of childcare outside the home and decided to provide a new basis for the financing of additionally needed childcare spots. Liechtenstein now has a comprehensive network of childcare facilities. Currently, no child has to wait for a day care spot. Almost every municipality has at least one institution for the care of preschool, kindergarten, and school children.

108.Also the newly appointed Government is committed to the reconciliation of work and family life. The 2017–2021 Government Programme fleshs out the programme of the coalition agreement of the governing parties with appropriate measures. These measures include surveying the needs of young families, developing a strategy and goals, and deriving measures for the promotion of families. The survey was sent out in October 2017 to all 3,000 families living in Liechtenstein with children under the age of 12; both parents were asked for separate responses. The evaluations of the survey are currently underway. Participation was high at 30% of the registered families, and 10% agreed to participate in further conversations. In January 2018, focus groups (only men, only women, only single parents or members of diverse family models) will be specifically interviewed on the reconciliation of work and family life. The survey was initiated by the Working Group on Family Policy, which was set up by the Government at the end of 2016. As a further measure, the private sector is to be sensitised and supported in order to make progress in offering flexible working time models and thus creating structures for better compatibility of family and career. The working group is also examining the possibility of introducing flexible child allowance arrangements, as envisaged in the coalition agreement, in order to assist parents in providing most childcare themselves in the first phase of their child’s life. The strategies and the resulting action plan are currently in development. NGOs and representatives of the business community are also involved in the working group.

109.The Day Care Funding Working Group, which was appointed by the new Government, is also committed to providing need-based public support for existing childcare facilities in accordance with the principle of equal treatment. The support depends on the income of the parents and expires at a defined maximum rate. This should also enable low-income parents to pursue a job. A digital administration and payment system via smartphone/tablet is also being considered to simplify administrative work and interaction between users. In addition, an extension of standardised instruction times at schools is currently under consideration. All these initiatives are intended to enable families to decide freely whether the mother or the father or both parents should be employed. In particular, this should also help to increase the participation of men in family care.

110.The Equal Opportunities Unit of the Office of Social Services also supports the “Profile+” project of the NGO “infra — Information and Counselling Centre for Women” with a financial contribution. This project brings young people making the transition from school to work into contact with the topic of reconciling family and work, so that they can develop their career prospects and private life choices. In the autumn of 2018, the Equal Opportunities Unit at the Office of Social Services is also planning an event on the compatibility of family and work, which will focus on the topic of a “father-friendly work environment”. The event focuses on the situation of fathers and aims to promote the will and commitment of men to implement their needs in their working lives (e.g. part-time work close to full-time work, partnership-based division of family labour and employment, other working time models, more family time, etc.).

111.In recent years, the Liechtenstein private sector has implemented a wide range of measures to improve conditions for mothers and fathers. For the member banks of the Liechtenstein Bankers Association — representing significant Liechtenstein employers — compatibility of family and career is a strategically very important issue and part of the Roadmap 2020 supported by all banks. The topic accordingly plays a key role among the member banks of the Bankers Association and is put into practice in their everyday operations. Examples of this are the possibilities of working time flexibility with a focus on individual, needs-oriented part-time work, a variety of working time models, home office, comp time, or (temporary) reduction of the workload on the basis of individual agreements, guaranteed re-entry after maternity in the same position (part-time and full-time), jobs with flexible workloads (e.g. between four days and five days a week), and the purchase of additional days of leave.

112.In addition, a project initiated already in 2015 as part of the above-mentioned Roadmap 2020 — establishment of a childcare facility for employees of Liechtenstein banks under the umbrella of the Liechtenstein Bankers Association — has now been realised. The day care centre “Villa Wirbelwind” in Vaduz was opened in September 2017 and is open to all employees of the member banks (including passive members). This day care facility is supported by the employers not only non-materially, but also with a financial contribution of more than 50% per day care spot. Moreover, some of the banks also cooperate with an external association for childcare, nanny placement, and care for family members.

113.At LGT Bank, a project has recently been launched at the initiative of Group CEO H.S.H. Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein on the topic of diversity, in which issues such as working women and the compatibility of family and career in general are being examined.

114.The Liechtenstein Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also included the topic of compatibility of work and family life in its Vision 2025, and it is working with its member companies to achieve further improvements in this area. The initiatives vary from company to company and include flexible working hours instead of standardised working hours, an increased number of part-time jobs, home office, annual working time, support in the search for childcare outside the home, day care facilities within the company, the purchase of additional days off, and supplementary unpaid parental leave.

115.The governmental “Coming Back” programme for reintegration into the workforce is aimed at people of all ages with or without the right to unemployment insurance benefits who are re-entering the labour market. Most of the participants are jobseekers looking for a new job after an extended absence from the labour market. In addition to a six-week training course (including courses on job application techniques, communication and conflict management, competence training and reflection, networking, etc.), the course provides for practical experience of eight weeks in a company.

116.More than 90% of the participants in the programme are women. In the years 2014 to 2017, two “Coming Back” programmes were carried out annually. The reintegration rate after three months was between 49% and 62%, with a participation of 22 to 27 participants.

117.Building on the “Coming Back” programme, the Labour Market Service (LMS) offers other activation programmes such as “Dialogue 45plus”, “Me in the Labour Market”, “Focus on Business”, and “Project Week” with external trainers and coaches, from which women can benefit when reintegrating into the workforce. Since most trainers are also active in job placement, synergies can often be created for finding a job. As an accompanying measure, the LMS offers personal coaching with an external coach free of charge.

118.Compared internationally, unemployment in Liechtenstein is at a very low level. In 2016, the annual average was 2.3%. The annual average unemployment rate for women and men was the same. Due to the excellent economic situation in Liechtenstein, the conditions for returning to work are therefore comparatively good.

119. Please provide information on measures taken to prevent and monitor sexual harassment of women in the workplace and data on the number of complaints, as well as on cases taken before the competent arbitration office and the Court of Justice.

120.The Gender Equality Act (GLG) was revised pursuant to the incorporation and transposition of EU directives in 2006 and 2011. The GLG prohibits discrimination through sexual harassment at work (Article 4 GLG). As part of the 2006 revision, the burden of proof for employers in cases of discrimination on the basis of gender was expanded and implemented to include sexual harassment (LGBl. 2006 No. 152). Special legal claims in the case of workplace discrimination were also defined (Article 7b GLG).

121.With a wider range of projects, the Government has implemented measures to prevent and combat sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace. Information campaigns for employees have been carried out since 2006. Employees are kept informed about their rights on an ongoing basis via the internet, and employers are kept informed about their duties. In addition, information brochures and flyers on gender equality, equal pay, and sexual harassment in the workplace have been sent to 400 companies.

122.For State employment contracts, a working group on the promotion of gender equality in the Liechtenstein National Administration has drawn up rules on sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace. Internal and external contact points can be called upon directly by employees of the National Administration in these cases. The contact points have been trained in the field of sexual harassment and bullying at the workplace. For reasons of confidentiality, neither arrangement of the contacts nor the external counselling is recorded statistically. Any counselling costs are borne by the National Administration.

123.The private sector is also actively combating sexual harassment in the workplace. On the basis of a survey, the Liechtenstein Bankers Association reports that most banks in Liechtenstein have a catalogue of measures against sexual harassment in the workplace. These measures include the introduction of an employee code of conduct prohibiting discrimination and harassment in the working environment, binding articles in staff regulations, and special internal directives and fact sheets. In addition, there are internal (human resource departments with advisory competences) and external contact and advisory bodies available, which can be used anonymously. Some Liechtenstein banks have also signed the UN Global Compact, which obliges companies under Principle 6 to eliminate all forms of discrimination.

124.Various member companies of the Liechtenstein Chamber of Commerce and Industry also have internal guidelines and codes of conduct in place against sexual harassment in the workplace, and they offer training sessions for employees, managers, and human resources officers. In some cases, the internal human resources officers with appropriate training are supplemented by external contact points to address questions and concerns.

125.According to the Liechtenstein Court of Justice, there were no civil lawsuits or proceedings before the ordinary courts concerning sexual harassment of women in the workplace during the reporting period.

126. Please explain the State party ’ s rejection of the recommendations addressed to it during the Universal Periodic Review ( A/HRC/23/14 ), to become a State Party to the International Labour Organization (ILO) and to ratify the ILO Convention 189 on domestic workers. Please also provide a timeline for the ratification of ILO Conventions Nos. 100 (1951) on Equal Remuneration, 111 (1958) on Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) and 156 (1981) on Workers with Family Responsibilities (para. 35 (c)).

127.The reason why Liechtenstein does not plan to ratify Convention No. 189 concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers, Convention No. 100 concerning Equal Remuneration, Convention No. 111 concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation, and Convention No. 156 concerning Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment for Men and Women Workers: Workers with Family Responsibilities, does not relate to the content of the conventions.

128.Ratification of ILO conventions requires membership in the ILO. The Liechtenstein Government is not currently considering accession to the ILO. As a small country with limited human resources, Liechtenstein is not able to be a member of all international organisations. As a full member of the European Economic Area (EEA), however, Liechtenstein has incorporated the relevant EU legislation, in particular the high labour law standards of the EU, into its national law. Together with the international human rights conventions to which Liechtenstein is a party, there is a dense network of international obligations which Liechtenstein has entered into in the field of economic, social, and cultural rights.

129. Please provide information on measures taken to guarantee the integration of part-time working women in the State party ’ s social system, especially in regards to old age provision and health insurance, and inform on support granted for their career development (para. 35 (b)). Please also inform on measures taken to mitigate the reported deterioration of the financial situation of single mothers.

130.Social security in Liechtenstein is provided by a number of institutions such as the Unemployment Insurance (ALV), the Disability Insurance (IV), the Old Age and Survivors’ Insurance (AHV), the Family Compensation Fund (FAK), and compulsory health insurance. These benefits are available to women and men on equal terms.

131.AHV splitting in particular contributes to better pension insurance for the parent who has invested more time in caring for children or persons in need of care. Given that these tasks are more often taken on by women, they benefit from AHV splitting. During the years of marriage, the actual contributions paid by each spouse as well as the income credits earned by each spouse (contributions of non-working persons), child-rearing credits (notional income for the rearing of children), and care credits (notional income for the care of persons in need of care) are divided in equal parts, so that when calculating the pension of two spouses insured in Liechtenstein, the same pension entitlements arise for the years of marriage.

132.Pensioners are entitled to child-rearing credits for each year in which they took care of children under the age of 16. These are not cash benefits, but rather credits that are taken into account as income in the calculation of pensions. In the case of married persons, half of the credit is divided between the spouses during all years of marriage. In the case of unmarried parents or divorced parents, the child-rearing credits are credited to the parent who has sole custody. In the case of joint custody, the child-rearing credits are split in half. Since the revision of the custody law in 2015, joint custody has been the rule even after divorce or in the case of unmarried parents, so that after a divorce or separation the child-rearing credits are still divided irrespective of what the actual custody looks like. This placed a large proportion of women at a disadvantage, as they still often tend to be the primary caregivers and work part-time, which means that they are unable to build up the same level of retirement assets. The revision of the AHV law, which entered into force on 1 January 2017, eliminated this defect, creating the possibility for unmarried and divorced parents to conclude an agreement whereby the child-rearing credits are fully credited to the parent providing the primary care. This amendment was substantially proposed and pursued by the NGO “infra — Information and Counselling Centre for Women”, a member of the women’s network, and is a positive example of the involvement of civil society organisations in the legislative process.

133.In May 2016, Parliament passed a revision of the Law on Occupational Pensions (Gesetz über die betriebliche Personalvorsorge, BPVG) and the Disability Insurance Act (Invalidenversicherungsgesetzes, IVG), which entered into force on 1 January 2017 and for some articles on 1 January 2018. The revision focused on securing the benefits from the second pillar (occupational pensions) and increasing the level of benefits. A package of measures is intended to increase the total amount of retirement assets and at the same time improve occupational pension provision for low-income and part-time employees. The measures include a reduction of the entry threshold for compulsory insurance as well as a savings process that starts earlier, namely at the age of 19 (previously 23). In addition, the exemption amount, i.e. that part of the salary which cannot be insured under the BPVG, has been eliminated. This measure increases the insured salary and thus improves the occupational pension provision especially for part-time employees. 73.4% of part-time employees in Liechtenstein are women. As the salaries of many part-time employees were previously below the entry threshold, they did not have to pay pension fund contributions. Now that the entry threshold has been lowered, more part-time workers are subject to compulsory coverage, which in particular improves the coverage of women working part-time.

134.No deterioration in the situation of single mothers has been observed in Liechtenstein. Single parents receive a single-parent allowance from the Family Compensation Fund. If the parent responsible for child support payments does not meet his or her obligation, the State pays an advance for child support. Working single parents may apply to the Office of Social Services to cover the costs of childcare outside the home. Other benefits provided by the Office of Social Services include premium reductions in accordance with the Health Insurance Act and rental subsidies.


135. Please provide updated information on the review of legislation in relation with “ pregnancy conflicts ” and on measures taken to decriminalize abortion (para. 39 (a)), and on decriminalized grounds of abortion. Please also provide updated information on the current jurisprudence regarding legal and illegal forms of abortion, as well as to the act of promoting and encouraging an abortion without a careful inquiry into its medical necessity. Please provide information on the status of women ’ s sexual and reproductive health, as well as in relation to women ’ s mental health (para. 39 (b)). Please also inform on the strategy used to address girls ’ and women ’ s mental health, including facilitated access to relevant services.

136.A revision of the Criminal Code, which was adopted by Parliament in March 2015 and entered into force on 1 July 2015, resulted in adjustments to the rules governing the termination of pregnancy. The most important change is the decriminalisation of women with the amendment of § 96(3) StGB. A pregnant woman who has a termination of pregnancy carried out is no longer liable to prosecution if the pregnancy is terminated by a physician. However, the revision of the law does not alter the fact that the performance of an abortion in Liechtenstein remains punishable for all those involved in the act — other than the pregnant woman herself — except in the cases mentioned below.

137.A termination of pregnancy is not punishable if it is necessary to avert serious danger to the life or serious damage to the health of the pregnant woman that cannot be averted otherwise, or the pregnant woman was underage at the time of conception, or if in respect of the pregnant woman a rape (§ 200), sexual assault (§ 201), or sexual abuse of a defenceless or mentally impaired person (§ 204) was committed and the pregnancy is the result of such an act. The grounds for exclusion from punishment are subject to the condition that the pregnancy is terminated by a physician.

138.According to the Liechtenstein Court of Justice, there have been no proceedings since 2009 before the Criminal Court for a legal or illegal termination of pregnancy or for promoting or encouraging the termination of pregnancy without medical necessity. Consequently, there is no current case law on the offences mentioned above.

139.The attending physician is responsible, in the cases permitted by law, for ensuring safe access to abortion procedures and follow-up care. The physician advises the woman concerned about available clinics or other health institutions. The prevention of unwanted pregnancies and abortion is a high priority in Liechtenstein. Family planning measures are part of the public health care system and are guaranteed to everyone; contraceptives are available.

140.Already in school, children and young people are supported in their development of an autonomous and responsible sexuality in an age-appropriate way. Learning goals to this effect are enshrined in the national curriculum. By engaging with topics such as physical self-determination and development, friendship, love, and contraception, the goal is for children and young people to learn how to express their feelings and needs in a self-confident way and to understand and establish boundaries. An important support for schools, teachers, children, and young people is the network of school social workers, school psychologists, and the Centre for School Media. A current project of school social work is the media prevention campaign “angek(l)ickt”. In order to better protect children against sexual violence, the interactive prevention project “My Body Belongs to Me!” (Mein Körper gehört mir!) is offered to the pupils in the third year of the Liechtenstein primary schools on a permanent basis.

141.The Sophie von Liechtenstein Foundation is active in the areas of sex education and pregnancy counselling. The foundation was established in 2006 by the Princely House of Liechtenstein. It is financed by funds from the Princely House and donations. “” is the foundation’s sexual education office that offers advice and help to children and young people — and thus also to girls and young women in Liechtenstein and the region — on questions of their sexuality. It also organises regular workshops on sexuality for students. The foundation runs the “” counselling office, which advises and supports pregnant women in Liechtenstein and the region, if necessary also for the longer term. The counselling centres of provide counselling especially in cases of strain, worry, and stress of the expectant mother, her partner, and family; unwanted pregnancy; prenatal examinations; miscarriages and stillbirths; postpartum depression; and terminations of pregnancy. In addition to these counselling services,’s counselling centres and experienced midwives provide information on the rights of pregnant women under labour law, financial matters relating to pregnancy and childbirth, the promotion of families, professional re-entry and childcare, as well as support services provided by midwives. The consultations do not prejudge the results and aim to pave the way for self-determined decisions. There is also the possibility of anonymous online counselling.

142.The “fa6 — Bureau for Sexual Matters and HIV Prevention” offers sex education and sex counselling, and provides advice and information about sexually transmitted diseases as well as family planning. Since 1 January 2008, an agreement on the provision of services in the field of sexually transmitted diseases has existed between the Bureau for Sexual Matters and HIV Prevention and the Office of Public Health. The main objective of the bureau is to minimise the transmission of all sexually transmitted diseases, in particular HIV and AIDS. The bureau is active in the field of prevention and project work on sexually transmitted diseases, and it supports and advises people affected by sexually transmitted diseases. It can also grant support payments to people who are affected directly or indirectly by sexually transmitted diseases, in particular HIV. The services offered by the bureau are aimed at the general public and at people affected by sexually transmitted diseases and their family members, as well as prostitutes and clients residing or staying in Liechtenstein or in the neighbouring Rhine Valley.

143.Access to psychological and psychiatric services is available to all residents of Liechtenstein without restriction. The costs are covered by health insurance (basic insurance). The Psychiatric-Psychological Services Division of the Office of Social Services offers comprehensive services in this area. The division acts as a hub and first point of contact for people with various, predominantly complex psychosocial problems. It organises and coordinates assistance after in-patient stays in foreign psychiatric clinics as well as after internal referrals and reports from various social institutions and associations (e.g. Association for Assisted Living, Probation Assistance), public authorities (e.g. police, Office of the Public Prosecutor, Women’s Home, Court of Justice), or the medical professionals and therapists established in Liechtenstein. Those affected can also contact the division themselves for support or referral.

144.Individual assistance is provided for people with a wide range of problems or serious crises. Together with the social-psychiatric service providers in the country, the goal of reintegration into society and independent conduct of life is pursued (to the extent possible, depending on individual circumstances).

145.There are no gender- or age-specific restrictions on access to these services, which is why they are fully available to girls and women.

146.To raise public awareness on how to deal with mental illnesses in an informed way, the Office of Public Health financially supports the “Madness Nights” cultural festival. The Madness Nights have been held since 2005 as a public festival every year around World Mental Health Day on October 10th. Offering new scientific findings, memorable messages, and film and stage productions, the Madness Nights aim at prevention, early detection, acceptance, and treatment of psychological suffering and impart knowledge about mental illnesses, assistance providers, and possibilities for self-help in Liechtenstein.

Women’s economic empowerment

147. Please provide information on measures taken for the economic empowerment of women and on efforts made to enhance the participation of women in the design and implementation of strategies for sustainable development and climate change, such as the Alpine Convention, in compliance with SDG Target 5.a.

148.Regarding measures to promote the economic empowerment of women, see in particular the projects, offerings, and initiatives presented in the answers to questions 5 and 12–14.

149.Women are prominently represented in the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA International) and the Liechtenstein Society for Environmental Protection (Liechtensteinische Gesellschaft für Umweltschutz, LGU). Since 2009, the Executive Office of CIPRA International has been managed by a woman for three years, and the Executive Board is currently also chaired by a woman. The LGU’s Executive Office is staffed exclusively with women. In this way, women in Liechtenstein can have a direct influence on the development of environmental policy.

150.Both institutions receive financial contributions from the State. CIPRA International receives an annual contribution of CHF 500,000. The LGU, which also manages the Executive Office for CIPRA Liechtenstein, receives an annual contribution of CHF 160,000. On a case-by-case basis, individual projects of the two organisations are also supported with public funds. Particularly noteworthy are the Alpine Space projects, in which CIPRA International is actively involved. In each of these projects, the aspect of advancing women is taken into account. Of special note are the activities on the topic of women in mountain agriculture, which was discussed in 2017 within the framework of the Alpine Convention.

Disadvantaged groups of women

151. Please provide updated information and data on the human rights situation of refugee and migrant women, older women, including widows and divorcees, rural women, Muslim women, women in detention, women with disabilities, LBTI women, and specify the measures taken to ensure that they have effective access to education, health, housing, employment, and participation in political and public life, including through the use of temporary special measures (para. 41). Also please inform on measures taken to address incidents of racism and xenophobia in the State party. Please also indicate a timeframe for the ratification of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

152.In principle, all inhabitants of the country with a valid residence permit have equal access to public benefits. This includes all the enumerated categories of disadvantaged women, including migrants and refugees. Liechtenstein law guarantees the principle of equality and non-discrimination at both the constitutional and the legislative level and is thus designed to eliminate disadvantages, inequalities, and discrimination of women in the areas of education, health care, housing, working life, and public and political life mentioned above.

153.The equality of all Liechtenstein citizens before the law is enshrined in Article 31(1) of the Liechtenstein Constitution. In 1992, the scope of application of this constitutional article was extended to include the equal rights of women and men (Article 31(2)). The rights of foreigners are determined in the first instance by international treaties or, in their absence, by reciprocity (Article 31(3)). In a recent judgement (2014/146), the Constitutional Court held that the principle of equality applies to foreigners under settled case law.

154.In order to ensure comprehensive protection against discrimination in the everyday life of the abovementioned categories of disadvantaged women, § 283(6) of the Criminal Code makes it punishable to refuse to provide a service intended to be provided to the general public to a person or a group of persons on the grounds of their race, language, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or ideology, their gender, disability, age, or sexual orientation. In this context, the term “gender” also covers transsexuals and people with ambiguous gender characteristics. Above and beyond this criminal offence, a number of special laws contain specific provisions to protect against discrimination in various areas of life. Please refer to the comments on labour law and legal protection under the Gender Equality Act and the Law on the Equality of Persons with Disabilities under question 2. This legal framework provides comprehensive protection against discrimination in Liechtenstein, which is to the full benefit of the categories of disadvantaged women mentioned above.

155.Liechtenstein is a State party to the International Convention of 21 December 1965 on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (LGBl. 2000 No. 80). In the run-up to accession, the provisions of the Criminal Code (StGB) on racial discrimination were tightened. Since 2003, there have been four convictions in Liechtenstein for racial discrimination under § 283 StGB.

156.Liechtenstein has successfully implemented many measures to promote tolerance and mutual understanding. There is a Violence Protection Commission that deals with combating violence in the public sphere (including ideologically and religiously motivated extremism). From 2010 to 2015, the commission successfully implemented a plan of measures to combat right-wing extremism. In addition to a number of other awareness-raising measures, the Expert Group against Right-Wing Extremism of the Violence Protection Commission was created in 2010 with the mandate to coach social workers confronted with the topic of right-wing extremism, to offer further training, and to build up advisory knowledge. In 2016, the mandate of the Expert Group was extended to include ideologically and religiously motivated extremism, and the name was adjusted accordingly (now “Expert Group against Right-Wing Extremism”).

157.Since 2011, a monitoring report on right-wing extremism in Liechtenstein has been produced and made available to the public on an annual basis. In 2015, the report was extended to all forms of politically, religiously, or otherwise ideologically motivated extremism. It documents all incidents and measures in connection with extremism in Liechtenstein. As can be seen from the annual monitoring reports, no right-wing extremist acts of violence, and no cases of politically, ideologically, or religiously motivated extremism have been recorded in Liechtenstein since 2012.

158.Promoting mutual understanding and combating xenophobia are an integral part of the school curriculum. At the level of instruction in schools, special value is attached to historical awareness and political education. Education about National Socialism is a mandatory priority topic in the curriculum for the secondary level. In addition to religious instruction, secondary schools also offer the subject “Religion and Culture”, which is intended to promote understanding of different religions and cultures. Muslim pupils are offered Muslim religious instruction at the primary school level. This instruction is financially supported by the state.

159.The legal equality of persons with disabilities in Liechtenstein was achieved through the Law on the Equality of Persons with Disabilities (Behindertengleichstellungsgesetz, BGlG), which entered into force on 1 January 2007. The BGlG aims to prevent discrimination and marginalisation in everyday and professional life and to facilitate integration to the greatest possible extent. The BGIG also created the Office for the Equality of Persons with Disabilities, which is hosted by the Liechtenstein Association of Persons with Disabilities. Since entry into force of the BGlG, one of the main goals is to take measures for the de facto equality of persons with disabilities, to promote their integration in professional life, to raise the population’s awareness of the concerns of persons with disabilities, and to promote networking among the various governmental and non-governmental groups working in this field. The Government has continued to pursue efforts in this regard over the past years. Apart from the BGlG, the Disability Insurance Act (since 1960) continues to serve as a legal basis. The revision in 2006 (LGBl. 2006 No. 244) enshrined the aim to promote persons with disabilities so that they are able to support themselves in whole or in part by their own means and are able to lead their lives as independently as possible. Early detection and integration into the workforce have been improved. The Liechtenstein Disability Insurance (IV, integrated into the AHV-IV-FAK establishments) offers numerous solutions to integrate persons with disabilities into the workforce.

160.Liechtenstein has not yet signed or ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, Liechtenstein considers the convention to be a very important instrument and supports the purpose and content of the convention. As far as the rights and advancement of people with disabilities are concerned, Liechtenstein is very well positioned. An assessment by an internal working group of the National Administration showed that the Liechtenstein legal situation is largely in line with the convention. One important reason for Liechtenstein’s reluctance in recent years to sign and ratify new agreements with significant reporting and monitoring obligations, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, are the austerity measures to consolidate the national budget. International reporting procedures and monitoring obligations entail a major administrative burden for a small State with limited human resources. Given that Liechtenstein is a party to various international and European treaties on the protection of human rights, the existing reporting procedures require considerable human and financial resources. The institutional reform of the national equal opportunities structures planned and implemented in recent years was another reason for the decision against signature and ratification so far. As part of this reform, as described above, an independent national human rights institution was created at the end of 2016 in accordance with the Paris Principles, the Liechtenstein Human Rights Association. It was not considered useful to take a decision on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities before this reform was completed and the necessary decisions on the new structures were adopted. Now that the reform process has been successfully completed, the debate on a possible signature and ratification of the convention has recently been taken up again. With regard to the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, the Government has no plans to sign or ratify.

161. Please provide information on specific measures taken to promote the integration of currently under-represented migrant women in secondary and tertiary education. Please also explain the State party ’ s rejection of the recommendation, addressed to it during the universal periodic review ( A/HRC/23/14 ), to alleviate barriers pertaining to the process of applying for family reunifications. Please further provide information on measures taken to guarantee compliance with the international obligations of the State party towards women and girl refugees and asylum seekers, including the protection of their fundamental rights and the provision of basic services, and training and guidelines for law enforcement officials and border guards on their gender-sensitive treatment at all stages of the asylum procedure.

162.Measures to promote girls and women with a migration background are covered by the general measures for children with a migration background (language training) and the measures concerning stereotypes, as discussed in the answer to question 11.

163.As part of the national curriculum, German is offered as a second language for children with a migration background. This includes intensive courses for children between the ages of 8 and 18 who have recently arrived in Liechtenstein or have applied for asylum. The intensive course consists of 34 hours per week with up to 12 students and usually lasts one year. The goal of the intensive course is to learn the German language and thus remove language barriers for the rapid integration of foreign-language children into everyday school life.

164.Supplementing this intensive course, foreign-language children can take language courses with teachers who have received intercultural training from the kindergarten level onwards. Each language class is limited to just a few children and can be attended for two to four hours per week up to seven years.

165.The teachers regularly evaluate the progress of the children and assess their individual language development. In the fifth year of school, each child’s language skills are assessed with a linguistic competence survey. The goal is for the children to reach 80% of competence level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. If a child does not reach the desired level of competence, the language course is continued according to the child’s needs. The results of the language courses, as well as the general scholastic success of children with a migration background, are communicated each year to the Office of Education, so that it has the opportunity to react to problematic developments with concrete measures.

166.In addition to the measures provided for in the national curriculum, a large number of special educational and socio-educational measures are provided to support children with a migrant background.

167.Since 2012/2013, measures have also been offered at the municipal level for early childhood language acquisition before entering kindergarten. The aim is to introduce children and parents especially to the playful acquisition of foreign languages.

168.There is no evidence of any specific problems of girls with a migration background with regard to their scholastic achievements. A look at the current Education Statistics shows that there is an increasing proportion of boys in the Oberschule (see fn. 7). Also at the special education level, the proportion of boys is considerably higher than that of girls.

169.Several conditions are attached to family reunification in Liechtenstein. Due to Liechtenstein’s membership in the EEA, these conditions are less restrictive for EEA/EFTA and Swiss citizens than for third-country nationals. In Liechtenstein’s view, the conditions on family reunification for third-country nationals are proportionate, appropriate, and in line with international obligations. Liechtenstein therefore sees no need for action at present.

170.As explained in the answers to questions 7 and 8, the Asylum Act provides for gender-specific asylum grounds for granting refugee status. Girls and women whose applications contain indications of gender-specific persecution or whose situation in their country of origin indicates gender-specific persecution are interviewed and taken care of by persons of the same sex.

171.With regard to the special protection of asylum seekers who are minors, see in particular the answer to question 8. Persons in the Migration and Passport Office who interview minors seeking asylum take into account the particular needs owed to their minority. The Migration and Passport Office may also consult a psychologist from the Office of Social Services for this purpose.

172.With regard to the separate accommodation of families with children and women travelling alone during the asylum procedure, see the answer to question 7. Unaccompanied minor asylum seekers are placed and looked after by the Children and Youth Division of the Office of Social Services in appropriate residences.

173. The Committee, recalling its general recommendation No. 27 (2010) on older women and protection of their human rights, invites the State party to provide information on measures taken, based on the results of the “ Women ’ s Lives 50+ ” study, such as support granted to their re-integration into the workforce after having lost employment and measures taken to combat their relative poverty, due to their previous lower pay, high level of part time work and interrupted careers.

174.Liechtenstein in general has a high standard of living and a very well developed social net. There is no absolute poverty in Liechtenstein. If people are unable to afford their cost of living, they may claim subsistence support such as premium reductions for their compulsory health insurance, rental subsidies, and supplemental benefits to their Old Age, Survivors’, and Disability Insurance pensions as well as direct financial assistance on a subsidiary basis. Independent of their income, residents also have a right to a child allowance. In part thanks to these social benefits, Liechtenstein has a low ratio of low-income households compared with other countries. The ratio was 11% in 2008. Without social benefits provided by the State, the ratio would have been 19.2%.

175.Please refer to the answers to question 17 for the most recent legislative amendments to compensate for work-related disadvantages in regard to pension provision.

176.With regard to the specific situation of unemployed women over 50, it should be emphasised that in Liechtenstein significantly fewer women over 50 are unemployed than persons of other age and gender groups. Currently, the unemployment rate for the 50+ demographic is around 1.9% and thus very low. Currently 142 persons age 50 or over are registered with the Labour Market Service, 67 of them women. In the case of unemployment at the age of 50 and above, reintegration into the labour market usually takes longer than for younger people. The main reasons for this are a lack of education, continuing training and flexibility, or high salary expectations. Experience shows that women age 50 and above are not more difficult to integrate into the labour market than men of the same age.

177.The Labour Market Service offers a range of services for women age 50 and above seeking employment to ensure their rapid and sustainable reintegration into the workforce and to maintain and promote their employability. Due to the insufficient number of participants, not all planned programmes could be carried out in the past two years. In the event of a rise in unemployment, the Labour Market Service can increase the frequency of activation programmes at any time.

Marriage and family relations

178. Please inform on measures taken to ensure that the concept of joint marital property extends to intangible property, including pension and insurance benefits and other career assets, as well as on efforts made to analyse the economic consequences of divorce on both spouses, with specific attention to the enhanced human capital and earning potential of male spouses on the basis of their full-time and uninterrupted career pattern (para. 43), in line with the Committee ’ s general recommendation No. 29 (2013) on article 16 of the Convention (economic consequences of marriage, family relations and their dissolution). Please also inform on the reform of inheritance regulations. Please further indicate the status and content of the reform of custody regulation for children of separated and divorced parents, and inform on procedures allowing to take into account gender-based violence in such custody decisions. Please also inform on measures taken to prevent systematic use of reconciliatory mediation in divorce procedures, and under what conditions cases are diverted to mediation.

179.With respect to occupational pension entitlements in the case of divorce, each spouse is entitled to one half of the other spouse’s pension benefits acquired during the marriage.

180.An actual analysis of the economic consequences of divorce for both spouses has not been carried out in Liechtenstein so far. Divorce has economic consequences for both spouses. The parties to divorce proceedings must conclude an agreement on alimony and child support, allocation of the marital home, the distribution of household effects, the division of the assets accumulated during the marriage, and the division of the pension benefits from occupational pension provision. Alternatively, the court determines these secondary consequences of divorce. Career-related advantages of men due to full-time employment or uninterrupted careers are taken into account in particular on the basis of the legal provisions on alimony (Article 68 of the Marriage Act; Ehegesetz, EheG, LGBl. 1974 No. 20).

181.Divorced persons usually have to accept financial restrictions due to the separation of the household or the maintenance of two households. The State provides various forms of assistance, such as legal aid if a person is unable to meet the costs of a divorce, the collection of alimony and child support payments or, in the event of unsuccessful recovery, advances on alimony and child support, an increased child allowance for single parents, premium reductions for health insurance, allowances for the costs of childcare outside the home for working single parents, rent contributions, and financial social assistance if income is insufficient to cover the cost of living. The Liechtenstein Labour Market Service also offers advice and support and promotes retraining and further training in order to facilitate re-entry into the workforce after a career interruption.

182.Inheritance law underwent a fundamental reform in 2012 in order to improve the legal status of the surviving spouse or registered domestic partner. One of the main improvements was to increase the legal inheritance share of the surviving spouse or registered domestic partner. Until the reform, the legal inheritance share was one third of the estate transferred to the surviving spouse or registered domestic partner. This represented a de facto disadvantage for spouses who were not working, which in Liechtenstein had a greater negative impact on women than on men. The legal inheritance share is now one half of the estate. This also increases the mandatory share, which is calculated on the basis of the legal inheritance share. The law governing the mandatory share also includes an abuse clause, which ensures that the surviving spouse does not suffer any disadvantage.

183.On 1 January 2015, the new law on parents and children entered into force in Liechtenstein, which in particular provides new rules for custody through the amendment of several laws. The new rules assume that in general, the relationship of the child to both parents is especially valuable for the development of the child and that parents should exercise custody equally and by mutual agreement. Joint custody is therefore the norm after separation or divorce, subject to the welfare of the child at the time of separation or divorce or also afterwards (§§ 175–176a of the General Civil Code; Allgemeines bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, ABGB). This new rule corresponds to the international legal development and social transformations with a changed view of the responsibility of mother and father for their common child or children.

184.Under joint custody, parents are called upon to come to a mutual agreement. For that purpose, the court may also employ the instrument of mediation. In all cases in which the parents adjust their custody arrangements by mutual agreement, children age 14 and older have the right of objection. If the parents are unable to reach an agreement, the court shall decide in accordance with the welfare of the child. The new law on parents and children prioritises the welfare of the child and provides a comprehensive list of criteria for that purpose, taking account of child-psychological and pedagogical considerations (see § 137b ABGB). In assessing the welfare of the child, particular attention is given to the extent to which the protection of the child’s physical and mental integrity is guaranteed and how the danger of the child suffering violence can be avoided. The use of (general or gender-specific) violence by either of the parents (against the child or other spouse) is taken into account in the overall assessment of custody decisions under the headings of endangerment of the child’s welfare, witnessing of violence, and commitment to good conduct. If such violence is used, joint custody is as a rule not granted. If the parents agree that, by way of derogation from an existing provision, custody should be granted to both parties jointly or to one of them alone, the court’s approval of the agreement is subject, among other factors, to ensuring the welfare of the child (§ 173 ABGB).

185.In Liechtenstein, divorces must be executed in divorce proceedings, never in mediation proceedings.

Additional information

186. Please provide any additional information deemed relevant regarding legislative, policy, administrative and any other types of measures taken to implement the provisions of the Convention and the Committee ’ s concluding observations since the consideration of the previous periodic report. That may include recent laws, developments, plans and programmes, recent ratifications of human rights instruments and any other information that the State party considers relevant. Please take note that further to the issues raised herein, the State party will be expected to respond during the dialogue to additional questions posed by the Committee within the framework of the Convention.

187.As already mentioned in this report, Liechtenstein has signed and ratified several international and European agreements on the protection of human rights in recent years. Liechtenstein ratified the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography in 2013 and the Optional Protocol on the corresponding communications procedure in 2017. Liechtenstein also ratified Protocol No. 15 to the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in 2013 and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings in 2016. The Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention) entered into force for Liechtenstein on 1 January 2016. The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) was signed in 2016.

188.With regard to relevant amendments of national law during the reporting period, the revision of the law governing names is of particular note. In September 2014, Parliament passed a reform of the law governing names, which entered into force on 1 January 2015. Spouses now have the right to continue to use their previous surnames after marriage — without double names. The option that the bride and groom choose one of their names as a shared surname, as well as the option of forming a double name, however, remains. A further change was made to the law governing the name of a child whose parents are not married to each other. Before the reform, the child was given the mother’s maiden name. If the mother had taken on her spouse’s name in an earlier marriage and kept it despite separation or divorce, this led to the situation that mother, child, and father each had their own surname. With the revision, the child now receives the current surname of the mother. The child of married parents, as a general rule, receives the shared family name of the parents. If the parents do not have a shared family name, the child receives the family name that the parents have decided for the child.

189.In 2016, Parliament adopted a reform of the law governing the names of registered partners. With the change to the law, the law governing the names of registered partners was placed on an equal footing with the law governing the names of married couples. Registered partners now have the option of either retaining their own surname — as before — or of declaring to the Civil Registry Office when registering the partnership which of their surnames they wish to use as a shared name. In the latter case, the partner whose name is not used as the shared name may, by declaration to the Civil Registry Office, add their previous surname before or after the shared name, thus creating a double surname. The reform entered into force on 1 January 2017.