June|2019. Meetings Alliance is pleased to announce its partnership with ECPAT-USA, the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial, sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. Human trafficking is an international and multi-billion dollar market whose proceedings are often unwittingly facilitated by the travel and hospitality industries.
ECPAT-USA partners with travel industry leaders to help companies implement programs and policies that comprehensively address human trafficking and child exploitation.
This initiative is part of Meetings Alliance’s alignment with doing business in a responsible manner. “There’s no doubt business events can drive positive social change and we want to be a part of that,” said Sandra Reed, founder and executive director of Meetings Alliance. “Sadly, research indicates the sexual exploitation of children through the travel and tourism industry has grown exponentially in recent years, and as a member of the travel and tourism community we feel it is our duty to do everything we can to end human trafficking.”
Meetings Alliance’s partnership with ECPAT-USA also signals its participation in ECPAT’s Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code), a multi-member initiative of the travel industry. The Code provides awareness, tools, and support to the travel and hospitality industry, and is a joint venture between the tourism private sector and ECPAT.
Companies such as Meetings Alliance that endorse The Code are supported by ECPAT-USA to:
● Establish a policy and procedures against sexual exploitation of children.
● Train employees in children’s rights, the prevention of sexual exploitation and how to report suspected cases.
● Include a clause in contracts throughout the value chain stating a common repudiation and zero tolerance policy of sexual exploitation of children.
● Provide information to travelers on children’s rights, the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and how to report suspected cases.
● Support, collaborate and engage stakeholders in the prevention of sexual exploitation of children.
● Report annually on their implementation of Code related activities.
“As a member of the meetings and events industry, Meetings Alliance is in a unique position to influence and promote conversations about trafficking and corporate social responsibility with multiple stakeholders in travel and tourism,” said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA. “Unfortunately, these sectors continue to be used by traffickers to facilitate exploitation, but through this new partnership, we will be able to raise more awareness of how travel associates can help protect children.”
About Meetings Alliance
Meetings Alliance is a bilingual, multicultural organization that offers sales and marketing services within the meetings segment with a particular focus on Latin American destinations and hotel organizations seeking to penetrate the international meetings market in the United States. The corporation has an in-depth knowledge of the MICE industry and understand firsthand the nuances of Latin American culture, facilitating exposure and presence in this multi-faceted industry. Services combine traditional networking, digital distribution, and print support, which work together to provide multiple outlets and resources for clients. For more information, please visit www.meetingsalliance.com
ECPAT-USA is the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial, sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. For more than 25 years, ECPAT-USA has been leading the charge to prevent child trafficking before it happens. ECPAT-USA is a member of the ECPAT International network, with offices in 95 countries. For more information on ECPAT-USA, visit www.ecpatusa.org; for specific details on The Code, please visit www.ecpatusa.org/Code.