Child labour laws of Belize

What is child Labour?
ILO describes it as economic activity,
both paid and unpaid, few hours or full
time ,casual or regular, legal or illegal that
are mentally,physically,socially or morally
dangerous and harmful to a child excluding
chores in homes and schools.
It Is work carried out to the manifest
determent and endangerment of a child .
it deprives them of a right to education
or that requires them to assume the
multiple burdens of schooling and work.
Forms of Child Labour
 Hazardous work
 Worst forms of child labour
 Labour performed by a child below the Minimum
age for that category of work.
 Light Work
 Vocational /education Training
 Apprenticeships
 Family Business
 Artistic Performances-charitable/non Charitable
What can be done about it?
• Special attention and effective measures are
required in areas of :
• Labour Inspection(detection)
• empolyment policy,
• poverty alleviaton
• social security ,
• child welfare and
• education
What studies have been done on Child Labour
ILO Regional Child Labour Project 2005
Qualitative Analysis of Child Work in Belize
In Dept Analysis of Child Labour and Education
in Belize 2003
National Report on the result of the Child
Activity Survey in Belize 2004
A review of child Labour Laws in Belizwe- Roy
Young 2005
Is there a national Child Labour Policy
Key principles:
abolition of WFof CL.
regulating work that is beneficial to a child
Sets a frame work for addressing CL and ID main target groups and
priority areas:
Legislation and enforcement
Education and Training
Awareness and Advocacy
Employment and Entrepreneurships
Living Environment
Institutional Strengthening/Capacity Bldg
Protection,withdrawal and Rehabilitation of Victms
1st priority area
o Legislation and enforcement.
• Enactment of legislations to prohibit harmful and
worst forms of child Labour and to deal with
family own business,address minimum age for
employment and light
work,training,performances etc
• Compliant with conventions and other intl
treaties CRC,Hayge Convention,
• Sanctions/penalites/prosecution and remedies
Child Labour Laws
• Constitution S.8 no person shall be held in slavery
or servitude and forced labour
• Labour Act S158 prohibition of forced Labour
• Shops Act
• Factories Act
• ILO C. Act
• Families &Children Act Sec, 154(2) gives the
minister power to make reg prohibiting trafficking
173 pornography
• Education Act 24(9) all children under age 14
must attend school S24 schools authoroties
are responsible to ensure that pupils are free
from sexual and other forms of
harassment,exposure to drugspornoharmful
activities.S 31 parents legal duty for children
to attend schoolsempowers the Chief to to
serve notice on a parent,School Attendance
officers has alegal duty to report to Districk Ed
 The Constitution
C.138 R.146 1973requires Belize to persue a Policy for the elimination and prevention of C.L to
establish general minimum age for employment and to prohibit children under the age of 18 years
in work or acivities that are likely to jeopardise their safety,health and development.
R 146 is not binding but provides guidelines regarding policy development
 Developing countries special dispensation 14-16 yrs minimum age
 C182 R.190 Worst forms of Child Labour Requires states to immediately
address the immediate need for the prohibition and elimination of the
worst forms of child Labour including trafficking and commercial Sex
 It is important to stress that these laws AND the Policy seeks to protect
children from work that is detrimental totheirMental,physical,social,Moral
and Educational Development and not to prohibit all forms of work.
 138
 Labour Act age 14 ,charitable artistic performances
• Protection Against Sexual Harassment Act
• Criminal Code S47. procuring or offering a
child for prostitution,porno inc porno
performances s20 illicit activities
• Social Security Act
• C.138 &182
2ND Priority Area
o Education and Training
• Child Labour –Children not in school (work or
home) esp 2nd Level of Ed
• In ability to pay fees books and uniform
• Strategic Objective
Other areas of the policy
 Roles and responsibilities of stake holders
o MOL-Implementation and legislative enforcement
o NCFC-Advocacy for children dev a strategy for
o MOE-Greater access and affordability to
education and ensuring school attendance
o MOH-ID Victims & Provide Medical care-Victims
comes mainly from poverty, sexual
explitation,dangerous work
Other areas of the policy
Roles and responsibilities of stake holders
o Youth for the Future- empowerment of youths
,sensitisation rights,employment and
employability training.
o MOHDAST- Assist child victims with social,
legal and moral support/assistance and
o Immigration-detection and
Other areas
• Private sector Involvement
o Employers Org-self regulation,sesitisation
o NGO’S,Religious Org,Com Based Org,trade
unions and parents and Families.
Other areas of policy
Policy implementation
o Multisectorial approach
o Develop a National Strategic plan
o Ministry of labour having oversight
Other policy areas
 Monitoring and Evaluation
o Review 5 yrs
o Commission studies
o NCLSCommittee
o Regular reporting
• National plan 2004-2015 for children and
adolescents in Belize
• Calls for high priority to be given planning to
meet the needs of children and youths in areas of
education, health child protection ….
What is the Minimum Wage?
• C138-16 with a younger minimum for light work suggested 2 years
• L.Act. Sec54(1) child 14 yrs or lower
• Sec 169(12 year implicitly of light light work) and 170 Minister to
make regulations,no work before school and not more than 2hrs on
schol days 6-8
• Sec 169 (a)
• Sec.54(2)protects persons 14-18 from hazardous work
• Sec 71. child shall not be recruited except for light duties and wit
parental consent.(recriuited worker)
• Sec 84.Minster by order require registration of Emp &Wkrs
• Sec164 –work related training in schools
• Sec 171 permits entertainment for charitable or ed purposes
• No provisions for artistic performances
Light work
• Def: work which is not likely to be harmful to the health or development
of young persons and not such as to prejudice their attendance at
school, their participation in vocational orientation or training
programmes approved by the competent authority or their capacity to
benefit from the instructions received
• The laws does not prohibit all forms of work by children
• Indeed the physical, social and moral dev of a child requires that the value
of work be instilled at a reasonable age.compatible with the child welfare
and a distinction made between legitimate and prohibited work
• has powers under the LA to make Reg for light work this is to regulate light
work .the hrs of work,activties and other conditions are important factors
in det light work equal pay is of special importance, time needed for
home work,education,rest(customary 12 hrs) and rest days,SSB
coverage,appropriate instruction and supervision and for leisure
• Exception Charitable Artistic Performances
Hazardous work What are the forms of child labour
• Def: is defined as any type of employment or
work which by its nature or the circumstances
in which it is carried out is likely to jeopardize
their health, safety or moral development.
• C182 def as a worst forms of child labour
Work that exposes children to physical
,psycological or sexual abuse
Underground underwater, dangerous
heights,orconfined spaces
Dangerous machinery, tools or
equipment,transporting heavy loads
Hazardous work cont.
Work in unhealthy environments
vibrations,haz substances or agents,temp,long
hrs and confined to premises.
Exceptions :votec ed training with supervision
and keeping records
Exclusions:R146 work in schools or votec ed
,gas,water,saitary,plantation and agric for
production and commercial purposes
What are the Worst forms of child Labour
• Commercial sex (prostitution,pornography or
pono performances and other sexual
• Slavery and practices similar to slavery(Sale
and trafficking of children,forced const.Sec8
labour,bonded labour,wars armed conflicts
• Illicit activities (particularly production,sale
and trafficking in drugs)
• They are criminal offences
In-depth Analysis of child work and education in
• 6.4 % persons 5-17 were child labourers
• 3times males than females engage in CL
• 79% live in rural areas and work in subsistence
agricultre,tourism,home domestics
• Children 5-14yrs compulory school age make contrbute
heavily to C.L,some are involved in forced prostitution
and sex tourism
• 2/3 of these children should be in school
• Mayan,latino and minonite ethnicity are at severe risk.
• Mostly occurs in larg families,single
parentsfamilies,head od fam had less than a primary ed
• Major factors are poverty &limited access to ed
facilities and cross border activities