Belize

Population

347,369

Population 0‑14

34.9%

Internet Users

40.3%

Facebook Users

140,000

Mobile Subscribers

359,600
* Statistics provided by CIA.gov, Internet World Stats and GSMA Intellligence

2009 - According to a scoping exercise carried out in 2009 in preparation for the drafting of a national ICT policy,the United Democratic Party, or UDP, determined ICT in education as a political and national priority. The UDP established the following goals: integration of ICT into the curriculum at all school levels; development of advanced skills training in ICT and promotion of ICT internship programs with industry and educational institutions.

2010 - The student-to-computer ratio in secondary schools across Belize averaged 12:1, with an average Internet connection speed of 512 Kbps. The Ministry of Education and Youth (MoEY) recognizes the importance of e-learning as means to overcome the educational divide between secondary and primary schools.

As part of the Belize Rural Development Program (BRDP) (Phase I, Phase II) which the Government of Belize is carried out with EU financing, 30 public ICT centers have been set up in rural villages. The primary purpose of these centers is to provide villages with ICT accessibility to improve their business reach-ability as well as to give access to Internet for the community at large on a self financing basis.

2011 - The government planed to launch the ‘Connect Belize’ initiative as part of the Belize National ICT Strategy 2011 to ensure equal access to ICT by expanding broadband connectivity and bridging the digital divide between municipalities and remote areas. Additionally, Community Access Centers (so-called telecenters) in rural communities provides opportunities for the public to gain experience using the Internet. To increase the population’s awareness of the benefits ICT can have, an ICT Awareness and Promotion’ initiative including annual ICT road shows, school-based awareness competitions, multimedia presentations and national awards for ICT innovation.

The National ICT Strategy 2011 - 2015 envisaged establishing ICT as an integral part of the curriculum at all levels as a core subject area, as well as a content delivering tool. In addition, the government is committed to drafting a comprehensive national ICT policy for primary and secondary education, whilst also equipping schools with the necessary infrastructure and facilities, including Internet access. ICT training was planned to be available to both teachers and librarians in addition to low-cost computers.

The Commonwealth Secretariat had signed a Letter of Understanding (LOU) together with the Commonwealth of Learning and Microsoft Trinidad and Tobago, that they would work together to improve education in schools in the Caribbean, through the use of technology. This agreement was to be in place for two years and would benefit schools in the Commonwealth countries and territories of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and Turks and Caicos Islands. Both students and teachers received training in the use of ICT and the program forms part of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning initiative. Schools will have access to a range of free, online hosted content and will be able to purchase discounted software.

2012 - Launched in April, the ICT project is [email protected]. This research and education broadband fiber optic network was introduced under the Caribbean Knowledge Learning Network Project (CKLN), connecting all regional tertiary institutions, research institutes and civil institutions from the education sector. The network links all 21 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries with research and education entities in Europe, North and Latin America, giving them affordable access to e-learning content and other knowledge resources.

2015 -Belize became part of the the OpenEMIS Initiative. It is part of UNESCO’s response to increase the global demand for the importance of quality education. The Ministry of Education and Youth conducted different training in each District Education Centers were trained across the country.

[email protected]

[email protected] is a regional organization established by the heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to connect local educational institutions to research and other institutions engaged in knowledge transfer worldwide.

Educational Community of Central America and Dominican Republic (CEDUCAR)

A virtual meeting place for the teaching community, this educational portal links eight Latin American countries and their respective educational systems. It provides up-to-date information, online courses, virtual communities, digital resources, newsletters, digital libraries and other educational materials.

INTERPOL

INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 190 member countries. Its mission is to enable police forces to collaborate globally to fight crime in the Internet age. Three areas of focus are crimes against children (with a focus on internet crimes and travelling sex offenders), cybercrime and human trafficking.

Ministry of Education and Youth

It is responsible for all primary and secondary education in Belize.

2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - Belize (2016)

United States Department of State

A report on the violation of human rights in Belize, the government’s aim to end them during 2015.

2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - Belize (2015)

United States Department of State

A report on the violation of human rights in Belize, the government’s aim to end them during 2014.

2014 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Belize (2015)

Bureau of International Labor Affairs

Report on the findings on the worst forms of labor in Belize during 2014. It explores the incidences of child labor, government legislation, enforcement, policies and programs to eliminate them.

2012 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor - Belize (2013)

Bureau of International Labor Affairs

Report on the findings on the worst forms of labor in Belize during 2012. It explores the incidences of child labor, government legislation, enforcement, policies and programs to eliminate them.

ICT IN EDUCATION IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN A regional analysis of ICT integration and e-readiness (2012)

UNESCO Institute for Statistics

UNESCO Institute for Statistics, based on survey responses from 38 countries reveals the extent to which factors such as education policy, teacher training, and infrastructure drive or hamper the integration of ICTs in schools.

Belize (2012)

World Economic Forum

Chapter profile of Belize of the Global Information Technology Report of 2012. It presents data on the status on ICTs in Belize.

Global Progress Survey on Violence against Children - Belize (2011)

Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence agains children

Survey on how Belize is tackling the different forms of violence against children. It also gives some recommendations to the government.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and the Internet (2011)

Inter American Children’s Instirute

This is a report to the Organization of American States on the situation of the member states in the issue of commercial sexual exploitation and the impact of internet in their lives.

Missing Children in Central America: Research of Practices and legislation on Prevention and Recovery (2011)

UNICEF and the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children

This report is about the situation of Central America in 2011 on the matter of trafficking and sexual exploitation. It pays close attention to legislation, some cases and the countries’ actions on this issue.

Response to questionnaire received from the Government of Belize (2004)

United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

Questionnaire aimed to determine Belize’s legal framework to address the issues of child sexual abuse.

This section contains details of the country’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.

The age of consent for sexual activity in Belize is sixteen, or fourteen for married girls. The age of consent for marriage is fourteen with parental consent, and eighteen without it. The legal age of majority is eighteen.

  • Article 46, Criminal Code. Rape. This Article states that anyone who commits rape or marital rape will be liable to imprisonment for a minimum of eight years up to life.
  • Article 47, Criminal Code. Carnal Knowledge of Child, Girl under Sixteen Years and Female Idiot, etc. Imposes a penalty of imprisonment for a minimum of twelve years up to life for anyone who has sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of fourteen, with or without her consent. The Article also covers the case where the girl is aged fourteen or fifteen, which will lead to five to ten years’ imprisonment. It is a valid defense to a charge for the latter where the offender is under the age of eighteen and had reasonable cause to believe the girl to be aged sixteen or over; if the offender is aged eighteen or over and believed the victim to be sixteen or over, mitigating circumstances will apply.
  • Article 48, Criminal Code. Mandatory Life Sentence for Habitual Sex Offenders. States that if a person is found guilty of a crime under Article 46 or 47 on more than one occasion, the maximum penalty of life imprisonment will apply.
  • Article 49, Criminal Code. Procuration. Defines the offense of procuring or attempting to procure a girl under the age of eighteen to have sexual intercourse with any other person, or to become a prostitute or inmate of a brothel. The punishment for this offense is five years’ imprisonment.
  • Article 50, Criminal Code. Procuring Defilement of Female by Threats or Fraud or Administration of Drugs. This Article states that anyone who, by threats, intimidation or any other method of compulsion, or by false pretense or representation, procures or attempts to procure any female for sexual intercourse, is guilty of an offense. The penalty is imprisonment for three years.
  • Article 53, Criminal Code. Unnatural Crime. Imposes a penalty of imprisonment for ten years for anyone who has sexual intercourse against the order of nature.
  • Article 65, Criminal Code. Special Provisions for Treatment and Reporting of Sex Offenders. States that anyone who has been found guilty of rape, attempted rape, carnal knowledge, unnatural offenses or indecent assault on more than one occasion will be required to under mandatory counseling and receive medical or psychiatric treatment as the court may find appropriate. In addition, the offender is not permitted to change residence without prior notification to certain government agencies.
  • Article 323, Criminal Code. Obscene Publications. This Article states that anyone who publishes or offers for sale any obscene book, writing or representation, will be liable to imprisonment for two years.