Summary: General overview of Liechtenstein's national legal provisions on children's rights, including guidance on how to conduct further research.

National laws on children's rights 

Status of the CRC in national law

Article 92(4) provides that the National Administration must act within the limits of treaty provisions. Properly ratified international treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, are part of the national legal system. Rights contained in the Convention can only be applied in domestic courts where they “are specific enough to serve as the basis of a decision”. The State has reported that it does not consider all of the rights within the Convention to be sufficiently specific to establish rights that the courts can apply directly, though it is not clear which provisions could be directly applied. The Convention has been cited in the Administrative Court and the Supreme Court.

Constitution: Chapter IV of the Constitution of Liechtenstein contains a number of rights provisions that apply regardless of age and a small number of provisions throughout the Constitution make specific reference to the rights of children:

  • Article 15: requires the State to devote special attention to education and schooling and requires education and schooling to be designed and administered so that, “through the cooperation of family, school and church, the members of the younger generation are endowed with religious and moral learning, patriotic attitudes, and skills for their future occupations.”

  • Article 16(1)-(8): include a number of specific provisions related to education. In particular, the article provides that education shall be universal and compulsory and that nobody shall allow young persons in their charge to leave school without the degree of schooling prescribed for public elementary schools.

  • Article 19(1): provides that the State shall protect the right to work and workers, especially women and young persons employed in trades and industry

Legislation: the Children and Youth Act 2008 contains much of the law relevant to children's rights, but provisions relevant to children can be found in a number of Acts and Ordinances. Legislation of particular relevance to children includes, but is by no means limited to:

  • The Children and Youth Act (LGBI No. 29 of 10 December 2008)

  • The Minors' Protection Act

  • The General Civil Code

  • The Criminal Code

  • The Juvenile Court Act

  • The Disability Discrimination Act (LGBI No. 243 of 25 October 2006)

  • The Gender Equality Act (LGBI. 1999 No. 96)

  • The Vocational Training Act (LGBI. 1976 No. 55)

  • The Foster Care Ordinance of 18 June 2002 (LGBI. 2002 No. 66)

Legal Research

The Constitution of Liechtenstein is available in English through the government website ( and the LiLex website provides a searchable database of national legislation and treaties in German ( In addition, the GlobaLex project at New York University has published a guide to legal research in the small jurisdictions of Europe ( and the World Legal Information Institute ( and the U.S. Law Library of Congress ( both provide access to a selection of legal and governmental resources.

Case Law

CRC Jurisprudence

The State has reported that the Convention on the Rights of the Child has been cited in the Administrative Court in relation to the right of the child to maintain contact with his or her parents and in the Supreme Court in relation to the right of the child to express his or her opinion in a custody case.

Case Law Research

Please contact CRIN if you are aware of any online resources that provide access to the decisions of Liechtenstein's courts.

Compliance with the CRC

In its Concluding Observations of 2006, the Committee on the Rights of the Child welcomed the revisions of the Youth Act with a view to incorporating diversion measures into the criminal law as well as to liberalising the curfew that was in place. The Committee expressed concern that the Youth Act had yet to be adopted, but since the Committee made its recommendations, the Children and Youth Act 2008 has come into force.

In depth analysis

Of particular concern to the Committee during its 2006 Observations was legislation regarding parental responsibilities in the event of separation. Under legislation in place at the time, fathers of children born out of wedlock had no standing to claim custody, and custody was automatically awarded to mothers. The Committee urged the State to amend legislation to permit fathers the opportunity to request custody of children born out of wedlock and to permit where possible joint parental custody.

Welcoming reforms to the law on sexual exploitation and abuse, particularly those criminalising sexual abuse imagery and abuse abroad, the Committee expressed concern at the potentially large number of cases of abuse. The Committee urged the State to establish effective mechanisms to promote and facilitate the reporting of sexual abuse of children. 

The Committee also raised concern that corporal punishment had not been prohibited in law. Physical punishment of children has since been explicitly prohibited by the Children and Youth Act 2008. 

Current legal reform projects

Please contact CRIN if you are aware of any current legal reform projects.


Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.