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Meeting Professionals International commit to ending child sexual exploitation by becoming a member of The Code

The Code is pleased to announce that Meeting Professionals International (MPI) have become members of The Code in partnership with ECPAT-USA. During a live stream on April 4 2019 to celebrate Global Meetings Industry Day, MPI officially signed an agreement to cement their commitment to ending the sexual exploitation of children through implementing the six criteria of The Code.

The Code is a voluntary set of criteria designed for travel and tourism companies to ensure child sexual exploitation is prevented throughout all business activities and to end the impunity of offenders who misuse their facilities. This includes implementing strong policies and procedures for the protection of children and training for staff to recognise and report suspected cases of sexual exploitation.

The signing of The Code was led by CEO and President, Paul Van Deventer, VP of People and Performance, Diane Hawkins and COO, Darren Temple.

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.”

MPI is the world’s largest meeting and event industry association and with a global community of 60,000 meeting and event professionals it has significant reach to bring attention and awareness to issue of child sexual exploitation.

Joining The Code is one step further in MPI’s commitment to human rights. In 2017, MPI first committed to join the fight to stop human trafficking, with a focus on ending the sexual exploitation of children. Over the past 18 months they have worked closely with ECPAT-USA and other organisations and have engaged the Meeting Professionals 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.

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.”

ECPAT-USA supports 67 members of The Code based in the United States.

Read more about MPI’s commitment here.