New Ways for Meeting Planners to Help Combat Human Trafficking

human trafficking, meetings
With July 30 designated by the United Nations as World Day against Trafficking in Persons, human trafficking is once again in the spotlight.

With multimillionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein making headlines for accused sex trafficking of minors and July 30 designated by the United Nations as World Day against Trafficking in Persons, human trafficking is once again in the spotlight.

Behind the scenes is ECPAT-USA, which has been a vocal voice in creating awareness among meeting planners and rallying hospitality companies to train their employees in identifying the signs of human trafficking.

Though meeting planners might not understand what sex trafficking has to do with them, there is a clear connection between business travel and meetings and trafficking—in fact, ECPAT views the meetings and events industry as being key to front-line defense efforts.

ECPAT is rolling out a sponsorship opportunity for industry companies that want to promote their commitment to spreading the word. Companies that sign up by July 19 to be a Founding Sponsor receive a link to an online toolkit that includes graphics for their website identifying their support, social media messaging and more. There’s also a second-tier recognition category (Business Events Advocate) and a training category, Business Events Champion, which includes consultation with ECPAT-USA marketing on activation ideas (such as promotional e-post cards and customized messaging), as well as monthly updates on training goals for employees.

ECPAT also has created a 25-minute online module, Preventing & Responding To Human Trafficking And The Commercial Sexual Exploitation Of Children, which is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. ECPAT also offers free tools and resources that can be used in conjunction with the training module. Learn more here.

Get involved in promoting the message and training your team today! For more information on sponsorship levels and benefits, contact ECPAT-USA’s Michelle Guelbert at

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.