Liechtenstein - Overview

Overview

The Principality of Liechtenstein is constitutional monarchy, with the Crown Prince holding significant political power. The small, landlocked nation joined the United Nations in 1990. The country is a signatory to ten of the thirteen main United Nation’s treaties and conventions on human rights. Lichtenstein’s constitution protects freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression in articles 40 and 41, with any restrictions having to be ‘within the limits prescribed by law’ and censorship only permitted for ‘public performances and exhibitions’. The country is known as a tax haven for foreign billionaires and was previously on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) blacklist of tax havens. However, since 2014 the government has made concerted efforts to become more transparent in its banking system and has thus been removed from the list.

Civil society and trade unions can function freely, and a law passed in 2008 grants civil servants the right to strike. The media market within the country is small, so most citizens rely on international news sources. While freedom of expression and the press is upheld, the law strictly forbids racial and ethnic slurs in public fora.