Social security systems provide benefits to all employed persons aged 14–64. Both employers and employees make contributions towards old age pensions, disability, survivor, and health benefits. Retirement is set at age 60 for both men and women, and benefits of 30% of average earnings are paid in addition to 2% of earnings for contributions in excess of 500 weeks.
Women have access to education and are active in all areas of national life, but face domestic violence and certain types of discrimination in the business sector. The Women's Bureau of the Ministry of Labor and Social Services develops programs to improve the status of women. Despite these efforts, most women work in low-wage industries and in agriculture. The Families and Children Act authorizes the state to legally remove a child from an abusive environment and raises from 16 to 18 the age up to which parents are legally responsible for the care of their children.
The rights of minority groups in Belize are generally well protected, although there have been continued reports of poor treatment of immigrant agricultural workers. Human rights are generally respected, although there have been reports of extrajudicial killing, use of excessive police force, and other violations.