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MPI Commits to Combat Child Sex Trafficking

Stop Child Sex Trafficking

DALLAS, April 3, 2019 -- Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the world's largest meeting and event industry association, today announced the organization's commitment to combat child sex trafficking through a partnership with ECPAT-USA. As part of a live stream on April 4, 2019, celebrating Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), MPI will sign the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code) a travel and tourism industry-driven initiative that seeks to provide awareness, tools, and support to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.

A joint venture between the private sector and ECPAT-USA, The Code is a voluntary set of business principles travel and tour companies can implement to prevent the trafficking of children. As part of the commitment, ECPAT-USA will provide tools that will help MPI raise awareness of the issue and stop child sex trafficking.

"Meeting and event professionals are in a unique position to raise awareness of and prevent child sex trafficking," said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA. "We're excited to see a globally recognized organization like Meeting Professionals International take a leadership role on this issue. Through this partnership with MPI, we will be able to expand the fight to end exploitation to thousands of individuals in over a dozen countries around the world."

The signing of The Code on GMID will be led by CEO and President, Paul Van Deventer, VP of People and Performance, Diane Hawkins and COO, Darren Temple. In 2017, MPI committed to join the fight to stop human trafficking, with a focus on ending the sexual exploitation of children. Over the past 18 months, working closely with organizations such as ECPAT and Sisters of Charity, and by engaging the community through monthly articles in MPI's publications, providing training to volunteer leaders, and offering educational programming, MPI has made a concerted effort to raise awareness of this crime, while also instructing on specific actions to prevent it.

"As a leader in the meetings and events industry, MPI assumes great responsibility to raising awareness about the human sex trafficking epidemic and advocating with our partners to take action against it," said Paul Van Deventer, MPI president, and CEO. "The travel industry is a target for human traffickers and by educating the meetings and events industry about signs to look for, we hope to prevent potential abuse and keep children safe."

GMID brings together leaders from across the meetings and events industry to showcase the real impact that business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows, and exhibitions have on people, businesses and communities.

About MPI

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide. The organization provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities and business exchanges, and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. MPI has a global community of 60,000 meeting and event professionals including more than 17,000 engaged members and its Plan Your Meetings audience. It has more than 90 chapters and clubs in 19 countries. "When we meet, we change the world." www.mpi.org

About ECPAT-USA

ECPAT-USA is the leading anti-child trafficking policy organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial, sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of ECPAT International, a network of organizations in more than 90 countries with one common mission: to eliminate the sexual exploitation of children. For more information, visit www.ecpatusa.org.


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Mary Lester
Mary Lester

communications@mpi.org
214-490-3480     


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