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:

DETENTION, EXPULSION, AND INCARCERATION STATISTICS

Total number of immigration detainees by year
Not Available
2019
Total number of detained minors
Not Available
2017
Number of apprehensions of non-citizens
35
2018
0
2014
5
2013
0
2012
Number of persons removed/returned (voluntary returns and deportations)
20
2018
15
2014
10
2013
5
2012
Percentage of persons removed in relation to total number of people placed in removal procedures
100
2014
Criminal prison population
10
2016
7
2013
Percentage of foreign prisoners
87.5
2015
71.4
2012
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
27
2016
19
2013

DEMOGRAPHICS AND IMMIGRATION-RELATED STATISTICS

Population
39,137
2020
38,000
2015
International migrants
25,467
2019
23,500
2015
International migrants as a percentage of the population
62.6
2015
Refugees
125
2019
156
2016
150
2015
103
2014
Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
4.31
2016
2.78
2014
Total number of new asylum applications
39
2019
52
2016
78
2014
Refugee recognition rate
23.8
2014
Stateless persons
0
2016
2
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS

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

DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES

Legal tradition
Civil law
2017
Core pieces of national legislation
Asylgesetz (AsylG) (Asylum Law) (2012) 2018
2012
Geset vom 17. September 2008 über die Ausländer (Ausländergesetz; AuG) (2008) 2017
2008
Types of non-custodial measures
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

INTERNATIONAL LAW

Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 14/19
International treaty reservations
Reservation Year
Observation Date
ICCPR Article 14 1998
1998
1998
ICCPR Article 26 1998
1998
1998
Individual complaints procedure
Acceptance Year
ICERD, declaration under article 14 of the Convention 2004
2004
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1998
1998
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2001
2001
CAT, declaration under article 22 of the Convention 1990
1990
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted
Observation Date
4/6
2017
Regional legal instruments
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
CPCSE, Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse 2015
2015
ECPT, European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment 1991
1991
CATHB, Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings 2016
2016
ECHRP1, Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights (amended by protocol 11) 1995
1995
ECHRP7, Protocol 7 to the European Convention on Human Rights (amended by protocol 11) 2005
2005
ECHR, Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (commonly known as the European Convention on Human Rights 1982
1982
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2009
2017
Yes 2013
2017

INSTITUTIONAL INDICATORS

Custodial authority
()