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Human Rights Report



The Principality of Monaco is a constitutional monarchy in which the sovereign
prince plays the leading governmental role . The prince appoints the government
consisting of a minister of state and five counselors . The prince shares the
country ’s legislative power with the popularly elected National Council.
Multiparty elections for the National Council in 2008 were considered free and
fair. Security forces reported to civilian authorities.

There were no reports of widespread or systemic human rights abuses.

The electoral system allows citizens to change many aspects of their government,
but there is no constitutional provision to allow the citizens to change the
monarchical nature of the government.

The government punished officials who committed abuses.

Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:

a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life

There were no reports that the government or its agents committed arbitrary or
unlawful killings.

b. Disappearance

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearance s or kidnappings.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or

The constitution and law prohibit such practices, and there were no reports that
government officials employed them.

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

The country ’s one detention center/penitentiary generally met international
standards, and the government permitted monitoring by independent human rights

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012
United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
observers. Authorities generally sent non-Monegasques sentenced to long prison
terms to France to serve their terms.

Physical Conditions : As of October , the most recent data available, there were 41
prisoners and detainees in Monaco. Of these, one was a juvenile, and eight were
women . The detention center had a capacity of 81 persons. The prisoners had
access to potable water in both the detention center and the prison.

Administration : Recordkeeping on prisoners was adequate. Authorities used
alte rnatives to sentencing for nonviolent offenders, and prison ombudsmen were
available to respond to complaints. Prisoners and detainees had access to visitors.
However, the UN Committee against Torture observed that there is no mechanism
with France to ensure visitation rights for prisoners convicted by a Monegasque
court and imprisoned in France . Prisoners were permitted religious observance
and could submit complaints to judicial authorities without censorship. Authorities
investigated credible allegat ions of inhumane conditions.

Monitoring : The government permitted monitoring by independent
nongovernmental observers in accordance with the standard modalities. On
November 27- 30, a delegation from the Council of Europe ’s Committee for the
Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)
visited the country ’s prison and mental hospital.

d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention

The constitution and law prohibit arbitrary arrest and detention, and the
government generally observed these prohibitions.

Role of the Police and Security Apparatus

Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the national police and the
Carabiniers du Prince . The government has effective mechanisms to investigate
and punish abuse and corruption . However, in 2011 the European Commission
against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) noted that the General Inspectorate of
Police worked under the instructions of the Directorate General of Public Safety
and lacked the necessary independence to investigate complaints of human rights
violations by police. There were no reports of impunity involving the security
forces during the year.

Arrest Procedures and Treatment While in Detention

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012
United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

Arrest warrants are required. The detainee must appear before an invest igating
magistrate within 24 hours to be informed of the charges against him and of his
rights under the law , and authorities generally respected this requirement in
practice . Most detainees were released without bail, but the investigating
magistrate may order detention on grounds that the suspect might flee or interfere
with the investigation of the case . Monaco and France worked cooperatively to
return any fugitive who fled Monaco into France. The investigating magistrate
may extend the initial two-mo nth detention for additional two-month periods
indefinitely . Detainees generally had prompt access to a lawyer, and the
government provided one to indigent defendants. The investigating magistrate
customarily permitted family members to see detainees.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

The constitution and law provide for an independent judiciary, and the government
generally respected judicial independence in practice.

Trial Procedures

The laws provide for the right to a fair trial, and an independent judiciary generally
enforced this right. Defendants enjoy a presumption of innocence , are generally
informed promptly and in detail of the charges against them , and have access to
free interpretation if necessary . E xcept for cases involving minors, trials are
conducted in public , usually before a judge or tribunal of judges. I n cases where
the potential punishment exceeds 10 years’ imprisonment, a panel of professional
and lay judges hears the case . Defendants have the right to be present and to
consult with an attorney in a timely manner . An attorney is provided at public
expense if needed when defendants face serious criminal charges. Defendants and
their counsel have adequate time and facilities to prepare a defense and access to
government- held evidence relevant to their cases. Defendants are able to question
the testimony of prosecution witnesses against them and present witnesses and
evidence in their defense . They cannot be compelled to testify or confess guilt.
Defendants have a right to appeal.

Political Prisoners and Detainees

There were no reports of political prisoners or detainees.

Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012
United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

The country has an independent and impartial judiciary in civil matters, and
residents have access to a court to bring lawsuits seeking damages for, or cessation
of, a human rights violation. Plaintiffs may appeal rulings to the European Court
of Human Rights. Plaintiffs regularly use d available adm inistrative remedies to
seek redress for alleged wrongs. The government respected court decisions
pertaining to human rights.

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence

The constitution and law prohibit such actions, and the government generally
respected these prohibitions in practice.

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

a. Freedom of Speech and Press

The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press, and the
government mostly respected these rights in practice.

Freedom of Speech : The penal code prohibits public “denunciations” of the ruling
family and provides for punishment of six months’ to five years ’ imprisonment.
The media followed the law in practice . Authorities did not charge anyone with
violating these statutes during the year.

Internet Freedom

There were no government restrictions on access to the Internet or credible reports
that the government monitored e-mail or Internet chat rooms without appropriate
legal authority . According to International Telecommunication Union statistics,
approximately 44 percent of the population had a broadband subscription in 2011.

Academic Freedom and Cultural Events

There were no government restrictions on academic freedom or cultural events.

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The constitution and law provide for freedoms of assembly and association, and
the government generally respected these rights in practice.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012
United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

c. Freedom of Religion

See the Department ’s International Religious Freedom Report at .

d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of
Refugees, and Stateless Persons

The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration,
and repatriation, and the government generally respected these rights in practice.

Protection of Refugees

Access to A sylum : The law does not provide for the granting of asylum or refugee
status, and the government has not established a system for providing protection to
refugees. Monaco is not normally a refugee -receiving country. The government
vets applications for asylum with the French Office for the Protection of Refugees
and Stateless Persons. As of the end of 2011 there were 37 persons with refugee
s tatus living in the country.

Section 3. Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their

The authority to change the government and to initiate laws rests solely with the
prince . The constitution can be revised by common agreement between the prince
and the elected National Council.

Elections and Political Participation

Recent Elections : Observers considered t he 2008 National Council elections free
and fair .

Participation of Women and Minorities : There were four women in the 21 –
member National Council and two women in the seven-member Crown Council.
One government counselor was a woman. There were no members of minorities in
the government.

Section 4. Corr uption and Lack of Transparency in Government

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012
United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, and the government
generally implemented these laws effectively . There were isolated reports of
alleged governmental corruption during the year but no formal proceedings against
government officials for corruption. Public officials are not subject to financial
disclosure laws.

The Law Enforcement Agency and the Department of Justice are responsible for
combating corruption. Both collaborated w ith civil society, operated effectively
and independently, and were sufficiently resourced. The law provides for public
access to government information, and the government provided access in practice
for citizens and noncitizens, including foreign media.

Section 5. Governmental Attitude Regarding International and
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights

While the government did not restrict the establishment or operation of groups
devoted to monitoring human rights, none exis ted in the country during the year.

UN and Other International Bodies : On November 27- 30, a delegation from the
CPT visited the country but did not publish a final report on the visit by year’s end.

Government Human Rights Bodies : The government’ s mediation service is
available to residents seeking redress for appeals against administrative decisions.

Section 6. Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons

The constitution provides that all nationals are equal before the law . It
differentiates between rights accorded to nationals (including preference in
employment, free education, and assistance to the ill or unemployed) and those
accorded to all residents (including inviolability of the home) . The law prohibits
discrimination b ased on race, gender, disability, language, or social status, and the
government generally enforced it.


Reports of violence against women were rare.

Rape and Domestic Violence : Rape, including spousal rape, is a criminal offense .
There were no arrests or prosecutions for any form of rape during the year.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012
United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
Spousal abuse is prohibited by law, and victims may bring criminal charges against
abusive spouses.

Sexual harassment : Sexual harassment is illegal. There were no reports of sexual
harassm ent during the year.

Reproductive Rights : Couples and individuals have the right to decide freely and
responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children, and to have the
information and means to do so free from discrimination, coercion, and violence.

Discrimination : Although the law provides for the equality of men and women, no
institution has a mandate to monitor gender inequalities. Women were well
represented in the professions but less well in business and finance . While no data
was av ailable, observers believed that there was a small and gradually diminishing
gender pay discrepancy.


Birth Registration : Citizenship may be transmitted by a Monegasque parent. The
government registers births immediately.

Child Abuse : Child abuse was generally not thought to be a serious problem . The
government sponsored public service programs against child abuse, and the
country ’s helpline service provided a means of reporting and addressing child

Child Marriage : The legal minimum age of marriage in the country is 18 years for
women and men. Women and men under the age of 18 need parental authorization
to marry . There were no data available on the number of underage marriages.

Sexual Exploitation of Children : Child pornography is illegal; the court system
determines penalties. Child prostitution is also illegal.

International Child Abductions : The country is a party to the 1980 Hague
Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Anti -Semitism

The Jewish community numbers approximately 1,000 persons. There were no
reports of anti -Semitic acts.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012
United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

Trafficking in Persons

T here were no confirmed reports of human trafficking during the year.

Persons with Disabilities

The constitution and the law prohibit discrimination against persons with physical,
sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities in employment, education, air travel
and other transportation, access to health care, and the provision of other
government services . The government effectively enforced these provisions. The
government has enacted and effectively implemented laws ensuring access to
public buildings for persons with disabilities, and the country has a handicapped-
equipped beach . The Social We lfare Services assisted minors under 18

Societal Abuses, Discrimination, and Acts of Violence Based on Sexual
Orientation and Gender Identity

The country has no law against discrimination in employment based on sexual
orientation or ge nder identity.

There were no reports of acts against persons based on their sexual orientation or
gender identity.

Other Societal Violence or Discrimination

There were no reports of violence or discrimination against persons with

Section 7. W orker Rights

a. Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective Bargaining

The law provides for the right of workers to form and join independent trade
unions of their choice . Non-Monegasque workers, who constituted approximately
97 percent of the workforce, have the right to join unions; however, in 2011 the
ECRI noted restrictions on the eligibility of workers who are neither Monegasque
nor French to sit in the bureaus of trade union federations. The constitution and
law provide for the right to strike . Government workers may not strike . Failure to

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012
United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
respect this right is punishable by a fine or imprisonment from three months to a
year. The law provides for c ollective bargaining. Antiunion discrimination is
prohibited . Union representatives may be fired only with the agreement of a
commission that includes two members from the employers’ association and two
from the labor movement. The law provides for the free exercise of union activity.

Workers exercised these rights in practice . Employer organizations and trade
unions negotiated agreements on working conditions.

b. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The constitution and law prohibit all forms of forced or compulsory labor ; and
there were no reports that such practices occurred.

c. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment

The minimum age for employment is 16 years. Those employing children under
16 may be subject to a fine under criminal law . Employment between the ages of
16 and 18 is subject to severely restricted conditions . The government effectively
enforced the child labor law.

d. Acceptable Conditions of Work

The legal minimum wage for full -time work is the French minimum wage, 9. 40
euros per hour ($1 2.41 ), plus a 5 percent adjustment to compensate for th e travel
costs of the three quarters of the workforce who commute from outside the country
daily . Most workers received more than the minimum wage. The law requires
equal pay for equal work.

The legal workweek is 39 hours. The government allows companies to reduce the
workweek to 35 hours, but companies rarely did so. Regulations provide for a
minimum number of rest periods and premium pay for overtime. There is a ceiling
of nine hours o f overtime per week or 46 hours of overtime over 12 consecutive

Law and government decree fix health and safety standards, which workplace
health and safety committees and the government labor inspectors enforced. There
were no reports of labor law violations. The Department of Emp loyment in the
Ministry for Health and Social Affairs had several labor inspectors. The chief
inspector answers directly to the director of the labor department. Labor inspectors

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012
United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
inform employers and employees of all matters related to labor laws, and health
and safety standards. They reconcile –when possible –parties involved in disputes
and carry out onsite inspections to make sure all requirements of the law are
respected in practice.