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Human Rights in Belize. Joseph Cooch Jessica Kokesh Michelle Haitt Kaiti Strayer. Resource. Freedom House Political Rights Score - 1 Civil Liberities Score - 2 United States Department of State 2008 Country Report on Human Rights Practices. Country Report :

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Human Rights in Belize

Joseph Cooch

Jessica Kokesh

Michelle Haitt

KaitiStrayer


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Resource

  • Freedom House

    • Political Rights Score - 1

    • Civil Liberities Score - 2

  • United States Department of State

    • 2008 Country Report on Human Rights Practices

Country Report:

http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2008/wha/119148.htm

Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

Freedom House:

http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&year=2009&country=7567


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Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person

  • C.Torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment

    • Police violence and abuse

    • Prison and detention center conditions

      • International standards not met

  • E. Denial of Fair Public Trail

    • Trail Procedures


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Section 2: Respect for Civil Liberties

  • Freedom of Speech and Press

  • Internet Freedom

    • 11 Internet users per 100 inhabitants

  • Academic Freedom and Cultural Events

  • Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

  • Freedom of Religion

  • Societal Abuses and Discrimination

  • Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons

  • Protection of Refugees


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Section 3: Respect for Political Rights

  • Elections and Political Participation

    • 31-seat House of Representatives

  • Governmental Corruption and Transparency

    • Former prime minister Said Musa

    • Annual financial statements


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Gender equality

  • Although the law mandates equal pay for equal work, women tend to earn less than men. The median monthly income for a working woman was $710 BLZ ($355), compared with $751 BLZ ($374.50) for a man, based on the 2007 Belize Labor Force Survey.

  • The Women's Department under the Ministry of Human Development, Women and Children, and Civil Society is responsible for developing programs to improve the status of women.


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Persons with Disabilities

  • Although the law does not expressly prohibit discrimination against persons with physical and mental disabilities, the constitution provides for the protection of all citizens from any type of discrimination.

  • The law does not provide for accessibility for persons with disabilities.

  • Two schools--the Cayo Deaf Institute in Central Farm and the Stella Maris School for disabled children in Belize City--and four special education centers (located in Corozal, Punta Gorda, Orange Walk, and Dangriga) for children with disabilities.

  • The Ministry of Education maintained an educational unit offering limited special education programs within the regular school system.

  • Private companies such as the Parents Association for Children with Special Needs and the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired, provided services to persons with disabilities.


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Worker Rights

  • Right of Association: free to join trade unions

  • Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

  • Prohibition of Forced Labor

  • Minimum wage varies for various sectors. Agriculture: $1.25, Manual/domestic workers: $1.50


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Child Labor

  • Children cannot be employed under the age of 12 and 14 before the end of school hours

  • Children limited to working 45 hours a week

  • Working children a problem in family-related businesses in rural areas

  • 2003 study: 6 percent of children between the ages of five and 17 were working, with 69 percent engaged in hazardous work.