Youth policy falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Society and Culture. The Children and Youth Service, situated within the ministry, promotes youth work, youth protection and the rights of children, among other tasks. It is part of the larger Office of Social Services, which the Children and Youth Act (2008) names as the country’s youth authority.

Published on October 4, 2023
Updated on February 20, 2024

Definition of youth

The 2008 Children and Youth Act of Liechtenstein defines children as persons 0 to 13 years of age, adolescents as those between the ages of 14 and 17, and young adults as those between the ages of 18 and 25.

Definition 1
0 - 25 years

Source: Children and Youth Act 2008

Definition 2

Voting Rights

Majority age
18 years
Voting age
18 years
Criminal responsibility
15 years

Candidacy age

Lower House
18 years
Upper House
--- (unicameral)
--- (tbc)

Marriage & Gender

Without parental consent
18 years
18 years
With parental consent
16 years
16 years


Is same-sex marriage legalized?
Partly *
Partly *
Are other genders recognised?
compulsory medical diagnosis

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?

Liechtenstein adopted the "Guiding Principles for Families" in 2011 which also encompasses youth and includes an Action Plan. It conceptualises youth policy as one pillar of a larger intergenerational policy and provides orientation for family issues and activities. There is no evidence that an updated family or youth policy has been enacted since that time.

As described in the Country Sheet on Youth Policy in Liechtenstein, the Children and Youth Act (2008) provides the overall framework for youth policy. The law is intended to contribute to positive living conditions for children and young people, helping them to overcome disadvantages and inequalities, and supporting integration and intercultural understanding. It stipulates the rights of children and young people; defines tasks for children's and youth authorities; defines offers of help; establishes measures to ensure the welfare of children and young people; and provides support in cases of delinquency, adoption and foster care. It also addresses the protection of children and young people; representation of their interests; and the role of ombudspersons to assist them in seeking redress.

The Act itself, and the youth policy framework overall, are anchored in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority that is primarily responsible for youth?

Youth policy falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Society and Culture. TheChildren and Youth Service, situated within the ministry,promotes youth work, youth protection and the rights of children, among other tasks. It is part of the largerOffice of Social Services, which the Children and Youth Act (2008) names as the country's youth authority.

TheMinistry of Foreign Affairs, Education and Sportis responsible for the educational system of Liechtenstein. Situated within this ministry, the Office for Vocational Training and Career Guidanceadvises young people and young adults up to the age of 25 on career, study, training and further education opportunities.

The Ombudsman's Office for Children and Young People (OSKJ) forms a point of contact and addresses complaints regarding child and youth issues. It aims to mediate, offer assistance and draw attention to injustices. The mandate of the OSKJ is regulated in the Children and Youth Act (2008).

Youth & Representation

Does the country have a national youth organization or association?

The Children's and Youth Advisory Council (KIJUB) is an interest group for children and young people that aims to enable their participation in social decision-making processes. It was created as part of the revision of the Children and Youth Act (2008). It is funded by the state and donations. According to KIJUB's website, its goals are to:

  • Increase young people's participation in political and social decisions;
  • Boost interconnected child and youth policies;
  • Demand political integration of young people's interests and opinions;
  • Bring issues relevant to children and young people into the public arena; and
  • Support participatory projects by and for children and young people.

TheChildren's Lobby Liechtenstein, which is a partner of KIJUB, forms a network of 28 children's and youth organisations that work together for children's and youthrights.

Youth work

Is youth work a formally recognised profession?

Youth work is supported and fostered by the state, as stipulated in the Ordinance on the Payment of Contributions to Private Child and Youth Welfare Institutions (2009) and the Ordinance on the Payment of Contributions within the Framework of the Promotion of Children and Youth (2009).

The Open Youth Work Foundation Liechtenstein (OJA) is an association founded by ten of Liechtenstein's eleven municipalities in 2014 with the goal of offering particularly open youth work in a professionally centralised manner. The foundation maintains a register of professional youth workers.

According to the Country Sheet on Youth Work Liechtenstein (2018), "aha - tips and information for young people" is a youth information centre that aims to develop broad services for youth and secure the quality of youth work.

The country sheet also states that Liechtenstein has no institution offering education for youth workers. However, basic training for youth workers or courses of study - such as social work - in Switzerland or Austria are recognised in Liechtenstein and are required in order to be employed as a youth worker.

Budget & Spending

Does the national youth policy have a dedicated budget?

According to the 2021 Annual Report of the Office of Social Services, expenditures for economic and personal assistance and support contributions to institutions of the Office of Social Services amounted to CHF 36.2 million (USD 38.5 million) in 2021.

CHF 8.4 million (USD 8.9 million) was spent in support of the Children and Youth Act. A breakdown of those expenses can be found on page 11 of the report.

According to the Liechtenstein governmental statistics portal, the total expenditures for public education in 2020 were CHF 202.2 million (USD 214.9 million). This was a 1.7% increase as compared to the previous year.

Contextual Figures

Liberal Democracy Index
Youth Progress Index

Economic Indicators

GDP per capita
Human Development Index
Gini coefficient

Additional background

According to the Country Sheet on Youth Work in Liechtenstein (2018):

"Youth policy in Liechtenstein is currently concerned primarily with educational opportunities, the permeability of the education system, improvement of vocational training and the political participation of young people."

"Open questions and debates concern, above all, the difficulty of motivating young people aged between 13 and 18 to participate in youth projects. Young people of this age are strongly challenged by puberty, career choice and the use of new media. The inclusion of children under the age of 13 is also discussed. This requires the sensitisation of teachers, parents and political leaders. International youth work is also still capable of development."


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