Global Meetings Industry Day

Meeting Professionals International Commits to Combat Child Sex Trafficking

Signing of The Code to take place via MPI live stream on Global Meetings Industry Day

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.

Five Ways You Can End Human Trafficking On Global Meetings Industry Day

On April 4, meetings professionals across the world will gather to showcase the impact the industry has on people, businesses and the economy on Global Meetings Industry Day. On this international day of advocacy, the meetings industry is also recognizing the unique role its associates play in the ending human trafficking. Chapters across the country are raising awareness of the issue and highlight how we can work together to protect children from exploitation.

Register for one of the events below to join the fight! We’re also making a special announcement on #GMID. Check our site on April 4th or learn more live at the events in NYC or Philadelphia!

In New York City

Global Meeting Industry Day Education & Engagement Event

Join SITE Northeast, Meeting Professionals International and PCMA NYC chapters in a special education and engagement presentation on Global Meetings Industry Day in conjunction with ECPAT-USA. You'll hear from speakers Carol Smolenski, Shanifa Bennett, Robin Carter, Jessica Schultz and David Peckinpaugh on how you and your company can fight the global issue of human trafficking.

Register here.

In the Bay Area

GMID Networking Event Benefiting ECPAT-USA

Join leaders from across the meetings and events industry at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square to showcase the real impact that business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows and exhibitions have on people, business and communities.

Register here.

In Philadelphia

Human Trafficking in the Hospitality Industry

Join PCMA Greater Philadelphia Chapter & MPI PHL at a special session shedding some light on the problem of human trafficking and how those in the hospitality industry can increase awareness of the issue. ECPAT-USA will be speaking alongside Hilton, Philadelphia CVB, Covenant House PA, and FBI.

Register here.

In Miami

Global Meetings Industry Day Benefiting ECPAT-USA

Join Site Florida & Caribbean for a global day of advocacy. Don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate the industry’s enduring business value and its $2.65 trillion in global economic impact.

Register here.

Anywhere Online

Last January, ECPAT-USA launched a new e-learning to help previously untapped sectors of the travel industry - including the meetings industry - join the fight to end human trafficking. Through the training, meetings professionals are given the tools to identify and respond to trafficking as well as how to take action with clients and suppliers. The e-learning and free resources for travel professionals are available anytime online.