Universal Periodic Review – MEDIA BRIEF

Wednesday, 30 January 2013 (morning)

(Disclaimer: The following brief is intended for use of the information media and is not an official record. The note provides a brief factual summary of the UPR Working Group meeting with the State under review and does not cover all points addressed. An official summary of the meeting can be found in the Working Group report.)

State under review

Liechtenstein
Represented by nine-member delegation headed by Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Documents

To access national report, compilation of UN information, and summary of stakeholders’ information, visit the Liechtenstein page on the UPR website.

Troika *

Malaysia, Cote d’Ivoire, Argentina.

Opening statement by State under review

Few points raised in the  opening statement of State under review:
(See full statement on the Liechtenstein page on UPR Extranet )

  • In preparation for its second UPR, the Office of Foreign Affairs organized an event to provide NGOs with an opportunity to comment on the national report;
  • Over the last four year, Liechtenstein improved its data situation relating to the protection of human rights and non-discrimination and since 2010 the Government has issued an annual report on the situation of human rights in the country; the monitoring report on right-wing extremism was noteworthy;
  • In view of its accession to the Schengen/Dublin area on 19 December 2011, Liechtenstein reviewed its Police Act, Foreigners Act, Asylum Act, Data Protection Act, and Nationality Certificate Act;
  • The new Asylum Act entered into force on 1 June 2012 which allowed for the inclusion of the explicit possibility of settling refugees;
  • One-third of Liechtenstein’s resident population was composed of foreign citizens; the best possible promotion of the integration of the foreign population, the promotion of mutual understanding, and the fight against racism and xenophobia was a high priority of the Government;
  • Liechtenstein has in recent years emphasized efforts against right-wing extremism; in 2009, a sociological study on this phenomenon was published; the Government adopted a plan of measures to address such acts;
  • There has been considerable strengthening of the rights of accused persons and suspects in the Code of Criminal Procedure;
  • Women were still underrepresented in many areas and challenges remained in the labour market; the network of childcare option has been expanded and the Government launched an additional project to improve compatibility of family and work, which was launched on 5 November 2012;
  • In political bodies, Liechtenstein has not yet achieved a balanced representation of women and men; Parliamentary elections will take place in the country next weekend; in preparation a Gender Equality Commission ran campaigns to improve the election chances of women;
  • In the area of children and young people, the entry into force of the completely revised Children and Youth Act at the beginning of 2009 was a milestone; the new law created two new institutions – the Children and Youth Advisory Council and the Ombudsman Office for Children and Young People; the head of delegation also noted that the State was ratifying the OP to the CRC on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography today;
  • A new law on the registered partnership of same-sex couples entered into force on 1 September 2011 giving equal status for these couples to legally married couples;
  • Liechtenstein has also achieved special visibility through its many years of active work on behalf of the ICC and Liechtenstein promoted the universal ratification of the Rome Statute.

Participants

In total 41 States participated in the dialogue:  17 HRC members and 24 observers  (Statements available on the Liechtenstein page on UPR Extranet).

Positive achievements

Positive achievements noted by delegations included, among others:

  • The creation of the Office of the Ombudsperson for Children and Young People and measures to uphold the rights of the child;
  • Efforts to combat racism and the national plan to address right-wing extremism;
  • The Government’s Office of Equal Opportunity;
  • Steps to protect the rights of refugees and displaced persons and to integrate foreigners;
  • The publication of annual reports updating date on the human rights situation in the country;
  • Advances in the education sphere and human rights education policies.

Issues and Questions

Issues and questions raised by the Working Group included, among others:

  • Efforts to further promote equal opportunities for women and men in the labour market and in political life;
  • Steps taken to adopt national legislation specifically prohibiting racial discrimination; 
  • Policies to ensure effective implementation of the principles of equality and non-discrimination;
  • Efforts to further raise awareness on the grounds of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity;
  • Measures to improve the integration into society of persons belonging to minority groups;
  • Action taken to establish a national human rights institution in compliance with the Paris Principles.

Recommendations

States participating in the dialogue posed a series of recommendations to Liechtenstein.  These pertained to the following issues, among others

  • To continue promoting opportunities for women in the labour market and in political life;
  • To develop a strategy to even out the inequality in wages between women and men;
  • To continue discussions on the legal framework for the termination of pregnancy and to amend the Criminal Code providing for the termination of a pregnancy;
  • To establish mechanisms for the identification of victims of human trafficking and their protection and set up temporary shelters for victims;
  • To adopt national legislation specifically prohibiting racial discrimination, in line with the recommendations of the CERD; 
  • To further raise awareness on the grounds of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity;
  • To take further steps to improve the integration into society of minority groups and persons belonging to ethnic and religious groups, including Muslims;
  • To adopt a comprehensive policy to ensure effective implementation of the principles of equality and non-discrimination;
  • To fully align domestic laws with all obligations under the Rome Statute of the ICC;
  • To establish a national human rights institution in compliance with the Paris Principles;
  • To pursue its engagement with the provision of ODA;
  • Ratification of human rights instruments: the CRPD and its OP, the OP to the ICESCR, the Convention on enforced disappearances and the OP, the Convention on the right of migrant workers.

Adoption of report of Working Group

The adoption of the report of the UPR Working Group on Liechtenstein is scheduled to take place on Friday, 1 February 2013.

The troikas are a group of three States selected through a drawing of lots who serve as rapporteurs and who are charged with preparing the report of the Working Group on the country review with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR. 

Media contact: Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711, rgomez@ohchr.org

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