Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

    National minorities in Liechtenstein: Council of Europe body calls for stronger protection against discrimination

    Strasbourg, 09.04.2010 The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) today called on Liechtenstein to strengthen its legal framework for fighting discrimination, notably by introducing comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, and to take resolute measures to prevent, combat and monitor manifestations of intolerance and xenophobia.

    In its third Opinion on Liechtenstein, published today together with the government’s comments, the Committee welcomes the support given by Liechtenstein to the aims of the Framework Convention and the spirit of cooperation of the authorities in the monitoring process. It also acknowledges the efforts made in recent years with the adoption of new legal and institutional measures to strengthen protection against discrimination, racism and intolerance and to foster integration of persons with different ethnic, linguistic or religious backgrounds. For example, it has adopted relevant measures on language teaching, religious education, counselling and information.

    The Committee encourages the authorities to further their efforts to combat difficulties faced by foreign nationals in access to housing, employment and quality education. There is also a need to develop further the supportive measures taken in the field of language teaching, with adequate financial support by the state.

    It also expressed its concern about the reporting of cases of xenophobia and intolerance against persons of different ethnic origin and religion, notably against Muslims and persons of Turkish origin, in particular among the youth.

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    Foreigners represent, according to 2007 official figures, 33,6% of the permanent population of Liechtenstein.

    The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities includes a monitoring system whereby the Committee of Ministers, assisted by an advisory committee, evaluates its implementation.

    For further information: www.coe.int/minorities