Ms. Judith Alpuche has worked in the social sector in Belize for the past 25 years, primarily in the areas of children’s and women’s rights. She began her career as a child protection social worker in the Ministry of Human Development. Throughout her career, she has held key posts in Belize’s social sector including head of the national adoption and foster care programme, Early Childhood and Education Specialist at UNICEF Belize, Executive Director of the National Committee for Families and Children and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Human Development.
During her career she has played a leading role in the drafting of and advocacy for the passage of several pieces of human rights based legislation in areas such as sexual abuse and exploitation of children, human trafficking, child marriage, child maintenance, substitute care and adoptions. She has also been instrumental in the development and approval of key policies and plans such as Belize’s first National Plan of Action for Children and Adolescents, the National Gender Policy and the National Gender-based Strategy. Under her leadership, Belize’s national social safety net programmes were modernized, including the implementation of a conditional cash transfer programme, a single information system of beneficiaries, a national online case management system.
Ms. Alpuche has represented Belize at several international meetings and events including heading Belize’s delegation to two sessions of the Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights, the UN General Assembly Special Session on ICPD and the Nairobi Summit. She was also a member of delegation that presented Belize’s Periodic Report on UN Convention on the Rights the Child.
Ms. Alpuche holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. In 2015, she completed a 12-month executive leadership development course conducted by the Canadian School of Public Service and the University of the West Indies. In 2020 she was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of her contributions to social work and public service.