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Insider Events – MPAHT Awareness Day 2020

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By: Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Dec 6, 2021

Title: Inaugural Ottawa Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking (MPAHT) Awareness Day 2020with special guest, The Honorable Lisa MacLeod, Ontario Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries
Date: February 25, 2020
City, Country: Ottawa
Host Venue: Shaw Centre


Organizing Team:
- Presented by Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking (MPAHT) and Voice Found. MPAHT is a membership-based association.
- Sponsored by Ottawa Tourism, the Shaw Centre, and The Westin Ottawa

MPAHT logo

MPAHT Association Website: MPAHT – Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking ~ Together we can end Human Trafficking
Linked In: Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking (MPAHT): Overview | LinkedIn

VoiceFound logo

Voice Found Website: VoiceFound ~ #nolongersilent on the issue of child sex abuse and commercial sexual exploitation
Linked In: Voicefound: Overview | LinkedIn


Target Audience: Meeting professionals and members of the hospitality and tourism industry.

Main Objective: Education and awareness.

Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking and VoiceFound held an education session for tourism and hospitality industry professionals to learn what we can do to help fight human trafficking. Raising awareness about human trafficking as sexual exploitation as it takes place in all kinds of properties. From budget motels to luxury hotels and resorts, air and ground transportation is often used to carry out these criminal acts.

MPAHT’s main mission is to collaborate, through education and synchronization, to bring awareness to human trafficking happening in our venues and at conferences, events and sporting events. Collaborating to talk about the situation, to ensure there are training programs in place for both sides of the table, and to know what to do about it when a person sees something that doesn’t seem right.

Unique Aspects of the Event:
This was Ottawa’s first MPAHT event and it was combined with a provincial funding announcement made by Minister MacLeod. Ottawa being the Nation’s Capital and home to the Federal Government is the perfect size city to start pilot education programs and to raise awareness.

The biggest challenge was how to raise awareness and how to make this event a valuable event for both attendees and the charities organizing it.

Our biggest success was providing the space and event for Minister MacLeod to announce and recognize the Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant to Voice Found (a survivor-led organization that MPAHT has the honor of partnering with) in the amount of $750,000 over three years to run a survivor-leadership program for survivors of human trafficking. Members of the program are provided with the skills, knowledge and confidence to become meaningfully engaged in their communities.

Save the date

The next virtual event will be in December 2021

Event name: “Blurred Lines – Supply Chains, Survivors, and the Law”
Date: December 9, 2021
Guests: The Honorable Lisa MacLeod, Cynthia Bland, Founder and CEO of Voice Found, Matt Friedman CEO of the Mekong Club 
Target audience: Toronto and Ottawa Meeting and Tourism Professionals
Cost: Pay what you can, with a minimum of $10.

To register click: here

2022 Goals: 
MPAHT will continue offering sessions to improve awareness of sex trafficking, labour trafficking, and supply chains.

We have to stop hearing things like, “it’s not in my background”, “it’s not my properties”, or “I don’t have time for this”. The pandemic has created new challenges and there have been increases in sex and labour trafficking, specifically in our industry. Even though COVID has put great constraints on the meetings, event, and travel business, we need to overcome this to move forward.

Article edited by Cynthia Beaudin, Canada Foundation for Innovation



EL Headshot
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES
Catering Coordinator at National Arts Centre

📢 I am a bilingual meetings and events coordinator who helps clients and organizations to plan their events in one of our five unique meeting spaces. The National Arts Centre is an ideal Ottawa venue for virtual, hybrid, or in-person events.


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