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PCMA has committed to combat child exploitation by signing The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism. The Code is the only voluntary set of business principles that companies and organizations in the travel, business travel and tourism industries can implement to prevent and eradicate the trafficking and exploitation of children.

The initiative forms part of the association’s new vision that business events drive social positive transformation. PCMA’s commitment to The Code and partnership with ECPAT-USA, the leading anti-trafficking policy organization in the U.S. which engages with the private sector to drive innovation in protecting children around the world, will see the world’s largest network of business events strategists advocate, build awareness and act on the issue.

The signing of The Code was announced by PCMA Foundation Chair and President of Maritz Global Events David Peckinpaugh during the association’s annual Convening Leaders conference, which was held Jan. 6-9 in Pittsburgh, Penn.

“As an industry currently worth over $150 billion, we have the power of advocating and raising awareness of the human trafficking epidemic, and have a stronger voice for the vulnerable whose opinions and opportunities have been taken away from them,” says Peckinpaugh. “Together with ECPAT-USA and other participating organizations, we are committed to doing everything in our power to end human trafficking.”

Alongside other industry experts, Peckinpaugh presented a session at Convening Leaders that took an in-depth look at the human trafficking epidemic.

Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA Michelle Guelbart explains, “One of ECPAT-USA’s main focuses—and essential tools for ending child sex trafficking—is engagement with the private sector, including ensuring as many associates in the travel industry are educated about this urgent issue. This new collaborative partnership with PCMA helps expand that mission to thousands more and will help protect countless more children from exploitation.”

PCMA educates, inspires and listens, creating meaningful experiences where passion, purpose and commerce come together. They are the world’s largest community for business events strategists providing senior education and networking for the business events sector. PCMA crafts and shares knowledge and market intelligence, enabling organizations to make informed business decisions while providing a platform for peer-to-peer exchange. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico with members in more than 40 countries. For more info, visit pcma.org.

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