The Principality of Monaco is a constitutional monarchy and the second smallest nation in the world. It is widely known as a tax haven and was placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s uncooperative tax haven blacklist in 2004 but was removed in 2009. The country has ratified nine United Nations human rights treaties.
The government protects and respects freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression. Citizens can freely form and join civil society organisations, religious organisations and trade unions. The right to strike is protected under law for all those in the workforce, except for state employees. Protest rights are protected in article 29 of the constitution, which states that “laws may regulate the exercise of this right without subjecting it to prior authorization”. However, the constitution also says that “this freedom does not extend to open-air meetings, which remain subject to police laws.” Free speech is a right; however, legislation exists that prohibits public “denunciations” of the ruling family with punishment ranging from six months to five years in prison.