Belize Protocol | How to Care for Child and Adolescent Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation

Since the early 1990’s there have been significant developments in the child abuse protection system in Belize. Following the ratification of the CRC, the Belize Family Court was established. In honour of the International Year of the Family in 1994, the Government of Belize established the Family Services Division (FSD) of the Ministry of Human Development, Women and Youth
simultaneously with the National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC).

The Ministry’s goals through FSD, was to strengthen and improve services to children and families, particularly protection services. FSD developed policy and procedures for the management of child abuse cases based on the CRC, the philosophy of “family perseveration” and incorporated the values of the social work profession. This policy development in the FSD, coupled with eth existence of the Belize Family Court, started a paradigm shift in the child abuse protection system. The system became far more child focused and aimed to protect children while ultimately working towards them having permanent placements in families rather than languishing in institutions. The work of the FSD and the Belize Family Court were complemented by the
prevention activities of NOPCA.

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