Liechtenstein

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

Not Available

Detained children

2017

39

New asylum applications

2019

125

Refugees

2019

25,467

International migrants

2019

Overview

Types of facilities used for migration-related detention
Administrative Ad Hoc Criminal Unknown

27 January 2021

UNHCR, “Asile au Liechtenstein,” https://www.unhcr.org/dach/ch-fr/nos-activites/asile-au-liechtenstein
UNHCR, “Asile au Liechtenstein,” https://www.unhcr.org/dach/ch-fr/nos-activites/asile-au-liechtenstein

One of the smallest countries in Europe, Liechtenstein had recorded 2,454 cases of COVID-19 as of 26 January 2021. Following confirmation of the first COVID-19 case in the country on 3 March 2020, the government imposed various restrictive measures, including a ban on all public and private events, a prohibition for more than five people to gather in public spaces, and the closure of all bars and nightclubs.

There is little available information regarding the treatment of migrants and asylum seekers during the crisis. The country receives just a handful of asylum applications each year (39 in 2019). According to UNHCR, many of these applications are found to be inadmissible, largely on Dublin III grounds, but also due to controversial admissibility grounds provided in the Asylum Act (see below for more information).

According to UNHCR - which describes Liechtenstein’s asylum system as “similar to the Swiss system” - applicants are initially placed in a reception centre in Vaduz (or other accommodation provided by the State) during asylum proceedings. Applicants are provided legal advice from government-commissioned lawyers following the first instance decision.

Following a recommendation from Brazil during the second cycle of the UN Universal Periodic Review in 2012 urging Liechtenstein to “Reduce the permissible length of administrative detention of asylum seekers, especially children,” the state party rejected the suggestion. It noted, “The Asylum Act and the Foreigners Act set out the maximum duration of administrative detention of asylum-seekers. For adults, it is six months. For minors between the ages of 15 and 18, it is three months. Younger persons may not be placed in administrative detention. In Liechtenstein's view, the maximum duration of administrative detention complies with international standards and is not disproportionately long.” In 2008, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture reported that non-nationals are detained in Vaduz Prison. The GDP does not have evidence about whether this facility continues to provide this function today.

In January 2017, Liechtenstein introduced new asylum admissibility grounds following amendments to the Asylum Act. Some of the grounds were heavily criticised. For example, Article 20 Para. 1 (g) provides that an applicant will be found inadmissible if their behaviour shows that they are unwilling or unable to integrate. In its 2017 submission on Liechtenstein to the Universal Periodic Review, UNHCR noted that it was “concerned that some of these new admissibility grounds will lead to exclusion from refugee status beyond the exclusion clauses of the 1951 Convention (Art. 1F).


Last updated:

ENFORCEMENT DATA

Total Detainees/ Stock & Flow (Year)
Not Available
2019
Total Number of Children Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2017
Number of Voluntary Returns & Deportations (Year)
20
2018
15
2014
10
2013
5
2012
Percentage of Removals v. Total Removal Orders (Year)
100
2014
Number of Apprehensions of Non-Citizens (Year)
35
2018
0
2014
5
2013
0
2012
Criminal Prison Population (Year)
10
2016
7
2013
Percentage of Foreign Prisoners (Year)
87.5
2015
71.4
2012
Prison Population Rate (per 100,000 of National Population)
27
2016
19
2013

POPULATION DATA

Population (Year)
39,137
2020
38,000
2015
International Migrants (Year)
25,467
2019
23,500
2015
International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
62.6
2015
Refugees (Year)
125
2019
156
2016
150
2015
103
2014
Ratio of Refugees Per 1000 Inhabitants (Year)
4.31
2016
2.78
2014
New Asylum Applications (Year)
39
2019
52
2016
78
2014
Refugee Recognition Rate (Year)
23.8
2014
Stateless Persons (Year)
0
2016
2
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA & POLLS

Gross Domestic Product per Capita (in USD)
149,160
2012
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
13 (Very high)
2015

B. Attitudes and Perceptions

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

LEGAL & REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

Detention-Related Legislation
Asylgesetz (AsylG) (Asylum Law) (2012) 2018
2012 2018
Geset vom 17. September 2008 über die Ausländer (Ausländergesetz; AuG) (2008) 2017
2008 2017

GROUNDS FOR MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

LENGTH OF MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION INSTITUTIONS

Custodial Authorities

PROCEDURAL STANDARDS & SAFEGUARDS

Types of Non-Custodial Measures (ATDs) Provided in Law
Release on bail (No) No
2015
Designated non-secure housing (Yes) Yes
2014
Supervised release and/or reporting (No) No
2014
Registration (deposit of documents) (Yes) Yes
2014
Electronic monitoring (No) No
2014

DETENTION MONITORS

TRANSPARENCY

READMISSION/RETURN/EXTRADITION AGREEMENTS

COVID-19

HEALTH CARE

COVID-19 DATA

INTERNATIONAL TREATIES

International Treaties Ratified
Ratification Year
Observation Date
OP CRC Communications Procedure
2017
2018
CRSSP, Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons
2009
2009
CTOCTP, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
2008
2008
CTOCSP, Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
2008
2008
OPCAT, Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
2006
2006
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
2000
2000
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1998
1998
ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1998
1998
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1995
1995
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
1995
1995
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
1990
1990
PCRSR, Protocol to the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
1968
1968
VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
1966
1966
CRSR, Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
1957
1957
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 14/19
Treaty Reservations
Reservation Year
Observation Date
ICCPR Article 14 1998
1998
1998
ICCPR Article 26 1998
1998
1998
Individual Complaints Procedures
Acceptance Year
Observation Date
ICERD, declaration under article 14 of the Convention 2004
2004
2017
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1998
1998
2017
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2001
2001
2017
CAT, declaration under article 22 of the Convention 1990
1990
2017
Ratio of Complaints Procedures Accepted
Observation Date
4/6
2017

NON-TREATY-BASED INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

Relevant Recommendations from the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2009
2017
Yes 2013
2017

REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

Regional Legal Instruments
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
Observation Date
CPCSE, Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse 2015
2015
2017
ECPT, European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment 1991
1991
2017
CATHB, Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings 2016
2016
2017
ECHRP1, Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights (amended by protocol 11) 1995
1995
2017
ECHRP7, Protocol 7 to the European Convention on Human Rights (amended by protocol 11) 2005
2005
2017
ECHR, Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (commonly known as the European Convention on Human Rights 1982
1982
2017

GOVERNANCE SYSTEM

Legal Tradition(s)
Civil law
2017

DETENTION COSTS

OUTSOURCING

FOREIGN SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR DETENTION OPERATIONS