Miguel de Liechtenstein

Lawyer · Philanthropist · Humanitarian

Miguel has sought to contribute his professional acumen in the legal arena to efforts to support changes in public policies and the law itself to prevent hatred, violence and arbitrary discrimination across the board.

Similarly, in his philanthropic endeavours, Miguel has sought to foster the creation of more inclusive, respectful and tolerant societies by supporting a number of local NGOs. He has also worked with international organizations and public and private institutions in fostering broader integration and support for the principles of respect, inclusion and non-discrimination and has worked with a broad array of social and cultural charitable organizations.

Miguel has served as a patron to musicians and artists, and has provided comprehensive support to number of sportsmen and women.

He is active in a variety of social and cultural organizations around the globe and is recognized for his contributions and philanthropic efforts.

“Diversity is the greatest virtue of modern societies. As such, it behoves us all to strive to strengthen and protect it in an effort to create spaces where we can all live in complete social harmony.”

Speech by Miguel von und zu Liechtenstein before the Senate Committee.

Mapuches / Patagonia Argentina-Chile

"We add our voices and vows to securing respect for all original peoples and worldviews, we speak from our humanity and to all of humanity, we must work to reach universal standards in human rights and procure the respect and the necessary protections for these groups."

Speech by Miguel von und zu Liechtenstein on signing an agreement with native peoples

En la fotografía: Hugo Alcamán, Presidente de Enama, Corporación de Profesionales Mapuche y Miguel de Liechtenstein.

Rapanui People / Easter Island

The United Nations International Labour Organization Convention 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries is an international treaty adopted by the ILO in Geneva on June 27, 1989, which addresses the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples within the nation-states in which they live and the responsibilities of governments to protect these rights.

The Convention is based on respect for the cultures and ways of life of indigenous peoples and recognizes their rights to land and natural resources, the preservation of their culture, and the right to determine their own development priorities.

“The Prior Consultation of Indigenous Peoples will allow the recognition of the identity of indigenous peoples and, on the basis of this recognition, guarantee their protection” Speech by Miguel von und zu Liechtenstein just prior to the Indigenous Consultation.

The photograph shows Miguel von und zu Liechtenstein, the Minister of Culture of Chile, Claudia Barattini, Mahani Teave and Enrique Icka, representatives of the Rapanui People on the occasion of the Prior Consultation of Indigenous Peoples

Pygmy Peoples / Africa

Los Pigmeos, como los Twas, Akas, Bakas y Mbutis, viven en toda África central, incluyendo la República Centroafricana, la República Democrática del Congo, Ruanda, Uganda y Camerún.

“The current situation of the Pygmy peoples is worrying. They face the lack of recognition of their territorial rights, even while their main activity is hunting and gathering in the very forests that provide for their subsistence, as well as the denial of their “indigenous” status in many African countries. This is a pressing human rights challenge.” Miguel de Liechtenstein.

En la fotografía: Miguel de Liechtenstein junto a grupos indígenas Pigmeos.

Interviews

Photo gallery

Bill on criminalising incitement to hatred, in supplement to the Anti-Discrimination Law.

Miguel von und zu Liechtenstein presents to the Committee on Constitution, Legislation, Justice and Regulation of the Senate of the Republic of Chile on proposed changes and improvements to the bill criminalising incitement to hatred.

Hate speech is a growing phenomenon, driven and promoted by new communication technologies and social networks.

Hate speech seeks to discredit an individual or group on the basis of certain features such as race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion or even sexual orientation.

This bill, on which Miguel von und zu Liechtenstein has worked especially hard as Chairman of the Sin Odio Foundation, seeks to establish sanctions against those who express opinions, comments or other public expressions that incite or encourage hatred or violence in Chile in the context of the so-called “hate crimes.”

Since its inception, the Sin Odio Foundation has sought to ensure the passage of legal regulations that prevent and punish individuals for inciting hatred or violence against any sector of the population. Its Chair, Miguel von und zu Liechtenstein, has noted often in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies that “the anti-discrimination law is not enough, since it only penalises acts of discrimination. It does not, however, protect people from, nor does it address, calls to violence or hatred. Ensuring such protection is the primary task of our organisation. We must continue to strive to improve this bill and protect as many people as possible.”

Furthermore, in this context he added: “the protection of the essential guarantees of equality and non-discrimination, lie mainly in the exclusion of speech that promotes or incites hatred and violence in our society.”

While great improvement has been made to the draft legislation –which initially sought solely to codify incitement to ethnic and religious hatred in the context of the limited offenses listed in the Anti-Discrimination Law (Law 20,609)—there is still much to be done. In this context, the Foundation and its Chair continue to work systematically to refine the legal text in hopes of securing the broadest possible protections for the largest possible number of groups and individuals.

Senate approves and sends to the Chamber of Deputies a bill that allows people with "special abilities" to be judges or notaries

The Chairman of Sin Odio Foundation, Miguel von und zu Liechtenstein, expressed his satisfaction with the expeditious processing of the initiative, noting his confidence that such discrimination against blind professionals, among others, will soon be a thing of the past.

By EL MOSTRADOR 

On Wednesday the Senate unanimously approved the bill that amends the Organic Court Code to allow people with “special abilities” to be appointed as judges or notary publics. The draft legislation will now go to the Chamber of Deputies for review.

The proposal was supported by legislators after discussing the need to enhance non-discrimination while ensuring that the proposal was actually implemented. Specifically, an indication presented by Senator Hernán Larraín (UDI) was studied, requesting that the Supreme Court safeguard these professionals’ right to have the means available to them to perform properly.

The latter was declared inadmissible, but it was agreed to send an official letter to the Executive, proposing that it present this indication in the review phase. The idea is that the High Court should guarantee compliance with the law, given that, in practice a series of obstacles remain to full implementation.

Felipe Harboe (PPD), the chairman of the Committee on Constitution, Legislation, Justice and Regulations, which analysed the bill, recalled the meaning of the new legislation from the standpoint of guaranteeing equality before the law, noting that, in practice a number of situations persist that make the work of these professionals even more difficult.

For his part, Miguel von und zu Liechtenstein, Chairman of Sin Odio Foundation, who observed the vote from the gallery, expressed his satisfaction with the expeditious processing of the initiative, which will bring an end to discrimination against blind professionals.

“Forty-three years ago, the Organic Court Code was modified to prevent blind people from becoming judges or notaries. As a result, highly competent attorneys were prevented from participating in the administration of justice in Chile. “Their academic or professional qualifications notwithstanding, they were excluded solely because they were blind,” he said.

He also recalled that the person who inspired this bill is Dario Alfaro, a young law student in his fourth year at the University of Chile, who appeared in several media and national newspaper covers saying: “I am blind and I want to be a judge.” He is part of the Sin Odio Foundation team and leads the People with Different Abilities area of the Foundation.

The Danger of Hate Crimes

Rabies, that contagious disease which affects the central nervous system and causes acute encephalitis leading to death in almost 100% of cases – the oldest known viral zoonosis – was thought to be under control and disappeared from our collective psyche years ago. However, a dog bite suffered by a young cyclist not long ago made us stop and think: while we may hope that certain phenomena are under control and in some cases extinct, this is not always so.

Similarly, we see today that the symptoms of a disease thought to be extinct in the world’s democracies is re-emerging. This disease is also acute and contagious, involves rage and has fatality rates bordering 100%. That disease is one of violence and intolerance. The illness not only damages society’s central nervous system, but also compromises its ability to act and think correctly. All these are unmistakable signs that the social fabric is in crisis. This disease is Nazism in the many forms in which it manifests.

What are the symptoms?

The appearance a year ago of a neo-Nazi art school in Southern Chile and the current presence of an alleged “Nazi party” show that we have not generated enough antibodies to consider ourselves a society free of such a harmful disease. Sadly, this exacerbated extremism –neo-Nazism– feeds on passive intolerance (harbouring non-externalised hatred against anyone who is different from one’s own standards) as well as active intolerance. The latter is reflected in xenophobia, racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, among others, nurtured by acts and expressions that openly discriminate against people who are different, vulnerable and marginalised. In short, the aim of this disease is to attack peaceful and democratic coexistence among people.

Thus observed, neo-Nazism is not attributable to a single country or specific group, but is a manifestation that in each country adopts its own unique features. Yet, there is the common thread of seeking to eliminate everything that is different and foreign. Within Chile there are groups who reject those people they do not see a true Chileans. In ridding the country of them, they would say, the end would certainly justify the means.

It is precisely this context that is the breeding ground for hate crimes. It is not about attacks perpetrated by institutions holding a monopoly on the use of force, but rather, acts of aggression committed by individuals in the most ignominious forms on the simple grounds that the victim is different from the perpetrator.

Clearly, the threat of the proliferation of so-called hate crimes (particularly xenophobic, homophobic or religious crimes) goes against Chile’s aspirations and policies, such as its open approach to immigration, support for social diversity and respect for the plurality of people and realities that make up the country. Diversity is the greatest virtue of our modern societies. Similarly, such proliferation is out of sync with the country’s international commitments to the protection of fundamental human rights.

This is why, faced with these symptoms of the disease and the danger of repeating history, we must take all possible measures to prevent and mitigate the propagation of this illness. On the one hand, the Executive branch is developing a series of policies to strengthen the values of equality and non-discrimination. On the other, the legislature is approving bills such as the one criminalising incitement to hatred or violence against any sector of the population, a project that the Sin Odio Foundation has fostered, promoted and improved in a methodical and systematic way. Lastly, civil society is becoming increasingly aware of the harmful consequences of arbitrary discrimination and hate speech from its most extreme manifestations (such as neo-Nazism) and that people can and must fight such expressions, even the most everyday ones that affect the relations of democratic coexistence of the nation’s inhabitants.

Just as diseases can be eradicated and, in case of re-emergence, must be decisively fought, the resurgence of harmful episodes that endanger us as a society must reactivate our social immune system. We must remain alert and prepared to combat such phenomena, and strive to protect the essential values of tolerance, respect and inclusion that will allow us to preserve this country and project it towards the future.

Copyright © 2018 Miguel von un zu Liechtenstein

El nombre Miguel de Liechtenstein es una fórmula o intento de facilitar la pronunciación del nombre Miguel von und zu Liechtenstein y castellanizarlo para su mejor comprensión. Sin que esto constituya de forma alguna la adjudicación de un derecho o tratamiento particular.