Mauritius - Social development

Mauritius has a universal system of pensions that supplements an earnings-related pension system. The universal pension covers all residents, and is financed entirely from government sources. The universal pension pays a fixed sum according to the age of the pensioner. Employee pension benefits are determined by the number of years worked. A program of family allowances assists needy families with more than three children. Employmentrelated sickness and maternity benefits are provided, as well as worker's compensation and unemployment benefits under a 1993 law.

The constitution prohibits discrimination based on sex. Although women do not face significant legal discrimination, most remain limited to traditional subordinate roles in the household and in the workplace. Domestic violence is pervasive and is often related to drug and alcohol abuse. The government is strengthening laws to protect women, although most stay with abusive spouses for financial and cultural reasons.

The government is committed to promoting the rights of children. The government is collaborating with the United Nation's Children's Fund to help it address the growing problem of domestic violence, including spousal and child abuse.

Ethnic tensions exist between majority Hindus and minority Muslims. Human rights are generally respected, but there are reports of the mistreatment of prisoners and suspects.

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