This first Child Activity Survey (CAS) rectifies the absence of statistical information on working children and their activities in Belize. It follows Belize's commitment to international instruments concerning child labour, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions, and concern by the Government of Belize at educational indicators of inadequate rates of school enrolment, participation and completion.
The CAS was conducted by the Central Statistical Office in April-May 2001 (postponed from October 2000 due to Hurricane Keith) and aims to provide national information to assist the Government in identifying appropriate responses. Such responses may include policies and programmes to ensure protective measures to minimize the negative consequences of child labour as well as supportive measures to encourage and enable improved education participation by Belizean young people.
The data from the CAS will also be used for:
• In-depth analysis and research, for example, in-depth analysis of child labour and education in Belize;
• Decision-making and planning, for example, designing protective measures;
• Formulation and implementation of policies, programmes and projects, for example, implementing protective measures to minimise the negative consequences of child labour and protection of working children in the short-term and the eventual elimination of the practice in the long-run; and
• Monitoring and refining these policies and programmes.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Children aged 5-17 years
The scope of the 2001 Belize Child Activity Survey includes: housing characteristics, migration status of households, characteristics of children living away from the household, respondent characteristics, demographic characteristics of the children, migration status of the children, economic activity of the children (current economic activity, place of work, employers of the children, earnings and hours of work during the past week and usual economic activity), children in non-economic activity, idle children, health and safety aspects of children who have worked at any time in the past, perception of parents or guardians of the children, related questions directed to the children.
The survey covered all de jure children (usual residents) aged between 5-17 years.
Producers and sponsors
Central Statistical Office
Government of Belize
International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour
International Labour Office
Administratively, Belize is divided into six districts, namely Corozal and Orange Walk in the north, Belize to the east, Cayo to the west and Stann Creek and Toledo in the south. Each of these districts has distinct urban and rural demarcation. Overall, about 52% of the households in the country are located in the rural areas. Two districts, namely Cayo (which contains the capital Belmopan City), and Belize (which contains the largest urban centre, Belize City), account for almost half the households in the country (CSO, 2001 a).
For the purpose of the Population and Housing Census, each district is sub-divided into smaller Enumeration Districts (EDs). Each ED has an average size of 144 households (Census 2000). For the sampling design of the CAS, available data from both the 1991 and 2000 Censuses were utilised (Tables 2-3 and 2-4). During the time of the preparation of the sample design, the Census 2000 data were not yet computerised and the only available data for 2000 were for household by district and ED and for population by sex, district and ED.
The survey comprised a two-stage design with the selection of EDs being the first stage: the selection of EDs being proportional to the size of EDs, that is, the number of households at the time of the Census 2000. The second stage was the random selection of a cluster of households from within selected EDs. Each district was treated as a stratum in its own right. However, in each case the selected ED and cluster were such that
f = f1 x f2 where
f1 is the probability of selecting an ED,
f2 is the probability of selecting a cluster, and
f is the probability of selecting a household.
To randomly select the 6,058 households, it was necessary to first obtain a distribution of the population 5 to 17 years by district, based on the 1991 Census (Table 2-3). From the data it was also possible to obtain the average number of persons 5 to 17 years per household by district. The 1991 Census also provided data on household income, which were used for ordering EDs within districts prior to selection.
Data on the number of households in each ED were available from the 2000 Population and Housing Census (Table 2-4). These data, together with data on the average number of persons 5 to 17 years per household from the 1991 Census, were used to allocate the number of households to be selected from each district and the urban and rural areas within each district.
Using an average cluster size of 30 households, which gives approximately 200 clusters to yield the 6,058 households and about the same number of EDs, each district was assigned a number of clusters based on the number of households obtained from the Census 2000. After examining the available income data, a monthly household income of BZ$5002 was used as the criterion for ordering the EDs before selection. The EDs were ranked by proportion of households earning less than BZ$500 per month from the highest to the lowest proportion. This was done within each urban and rural area within each district. Within each district, a number of EDs were systematically selected. The selection interval was determined by the number of households in the district and the number of clusters assigned to the district.
After selecting these EDs, one cluster was then selected from each ED. Dividing the number of households by 30 and rounding off as necessary gave the number of clusters assigned to an ED. However, the sum of clusters from the EDs did not exceed the number of clusters assigned to the district. Because the number of households in an ED was not exactly divisible by 30 and the number of clusters assigned to an ED must be an integer, meant that the cluster sizes varied from 27 to 35 households with an average of about 30 households. For example, an ED with 128 households would have been assigned four clusters, each with an average size of 32 households.
Based on the average number of persons aged 5 to 17 years per household from the 1991 Census data, it was estimated that the number of persons aged 5 to 17 years to be interviewed from the sample would be just over 10,000 (the actual number interviewed for the survey was 7,870 children.). An estimated 20% to 25% employment rate for children 5 to 17 years old should have yielded 2,000 to 2,500 employed persons in the sample (the results from the survey showed 896 employed children). Selection of the sample was made at the CSO using the households from the 2000 Population and Housing Census as the sample frame.
Out of the 6,058 households selected, 5,247 were visited. Overall, 7.6% of households were vacant, 1.0% were address not found, 2.7% were no contact, 0.5% were vacant lot, 0.5% were under construction and 1.1% had other results of visit. Less than one percent of the households refused to be interviewed. Fifty two percent of the sample households included at least one child 5 to 17 years old. Completed interviews were obtained in 98% of the households that had an eligible respondent, for a total of 3,145 completed interviews. Households with completed and partially completed interviews had information entered; therefore information on a total of 3,183 households was contained in the database. Interview completion rates did not vary by urban and rural residence.
The difference in completion rates by district, however, varied between 95.1% in Belize district and 99.4% in Corozal. Belize district had the highest refusal rate (2.1%) and Stann Creek had the highest percentage of non-eligible respondents (38.1%).
The main concern in the Stann Creek district was the high number of non-eligible respondents. After a close investigation of the situation, it was noted that:
1. Due to the sample design, cluster sampling allowed for too many of the same type of households to be selected, especially in the barracks of the citrus plantations where the households comprised of mostly single men. This was very marked in four EDs selected in that district and gave very little or no allowance for the presence of children between the ages of 5 to 17 years.
2. The time the survey was conducted corresponded to the end of the citrus harvesting period when many of the rural communities in the citrus areas had many households in the barracks that were vacant.
3. In the urban EDs, the prevalence of non-eligible households resulted from households in the new residential areas that comprised of young families or singleperson households.
The raising factors (F) for the CAS were based on the results of the CAS (response rate and children 5 to 17 years in the sample) and the estimated population 5 to 17 years. The estimated population 5 to 17 years in the country was based on the Census 2000.
F = (Estimated 5 to17 year old Population) / (5 to 17 year olds from Sample)
There are times when this method is used instead of the sampling fraction method. It is sometimes called the vital statistics method. Because of the time interval between the origin of the frame (1991 Census for age distribution) and the actual survey (2001), there were significant shifts in the population structure.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
Fieldwork personnel were required to attend the three-day training session held 18-20 April 2001 and conducted by the CSO. Present at the training were the interviewers (75), editor/coders (16), field supervisors (9), CSO district supervisors (6), assistant district supervisor (1), data entry operators (4) and other personnel from the CSO main office (6). The interviewer’s manual was thoroughly explained. Mock interviews assisted to clarify concepts and to determine the weaknesses and strengths of the interviewers. One day was dedicated solely to editing and coding procedures.
Fieldwork for the CAS, undertaken by the CSO, took place from 22 April to 19 May 2001. All interviews were completed in that four-week period, the reference week being the preceding week for each of the four weeks. Therefore, there was not a fixed reference period, but instead a moving reference period.
The CSO was responsible for the preparation and implementation of the CAS. Apart from the organization of the fieldwork at the district level, the district supervisors from the CSO were responsible for the direct supervision of interviewers, field supervisors and editor/coders assigned to their district. Field supervisors and district supervisors did reinterviews to ensure that the information gathered by the interviewer was accurate. Personnel from the main office of the CSO were responsible for all the activities undertaken for the survey. They also did weekly field and office checks in the district offices.
Central Statistical Office
Government of Belize
The questionnaire used for the CAS was designed to gather detailed information specifically on children aged between 5 and 17 years inclusive, and basic demographic information for the parent or guardian of the child and, in the absence of the parent or guardian, a responsible adult over 17 years (Figure 2-1). According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a child is any person under the age of 18 years; hence the upper age limit for the target population is 17 years. Given that the compulsory school age in Belize is 5 to 14 years, five years was used as the lower age limit. All children 5 to 17 years in the households selected were interviewed.
The questionnaire (refer to Figure 2-1 and Annex III) was divided into 11 sections:
Section I: Housing
Section II: Migration status of households
Section III: All children 5-17 years old living away from this household
Section IV: Respondent characteristics
Section V: Characteristics of the child 5-17 years old
Section VI: Migration status of the child
Section VII: Usual economic activity of the child
Section VIII: Non economic activity and complete idleness
Section IX: Health and safety aspects of child who has worked at any time in the past
Section X: Perception of parent or guardian of the child
Section XI: For the child 5 to 17 years old.
Unlike Section XI, the respondent for Sections I to X was the parent or guardian (or responsible adult, in the absence of the parent or guardian) of any of the children 5 to 17 years old in the household. The person who answered Sections I to X expressed his or her views and knowledge about the housing and household characteristics and provided information on each child 5 to 17 years old who was a member of the household. For every additional child, interviews were repeated for Sections V to XI.
Most respondents (84.3%) for Sections I to X were the parent or guardian of the child. The grandparent (6.5%), the brother or sister (3.9%) and other relative (3.7%) were the other most likely respondents. Interestingly, 0.5% of children had their spouse or partner answering as the responsible adult in their household. Note that if the child’s spouse or partner was under 18 years, the spouse or partner was still considered a child.
Each child 5 to 17 years old responded to Section XI. Screening questions were included in this section of the questionnaire to help determine if the child interviewed was economically active, not economically active or idle, and then specific questions were asked depending upon the working status of the child.
More than 70% of the children interviewed were accompanied either by the parent or guardian or another member of the household. The rest of the children were alone when they were interviewed. A total of 44 children (0.6% of all children in the sample) did not answer Section XI but had information on them in Sections I to X.
The interviewers first checked the questionnaires before submitting them to the field supervisors, who then did a second check of the questionnaires. The field supervisor then submitted the questionnaires to the editor/coders, who then edited and coded the questionnaires. The district supervisors and personnel from the main office did random editing of questionnaires. After the questionnaires were both edited and coded in the district offices, they were sent to the main office to be edited. This was the final edit check before data entry. After data entry, a consistency program was run to flag all inconsistencies. Personnel from the main office were responsible for the computer edits. In general, each questionnaire was edited at least five different times and in some cases they were even checked seven times. After the data were cleaned and the final database completed, the tabulation of data began.
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Central Statistical Office, Government of Belize; International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour, International Labour Office. Belize Child Activity Survey 2001. Ref. BLZ_2001_CAS_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from www.measuredhs.com on [date]
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.