Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking (MPAHT) has created an Advisory Council comprised of individuals representing advocacy groups, survivors, police services and business executives.
Since its launch in 2017, MPAHT has made great strides in driving awareness and education on the issue of human trafficking in the meeting planning industry in Canada and the United States. Sandy Biback, MPAHT founder and president of the organization’s Board of Directors, says the formation of the advisory council is an important next step in MPAHT’s mandate to engage the insights and experience of a diverse group of thought leaders in helping to advance and support the organization’s future growth.
Members of the advisory council are:
- Ruth Abrahamson – CEO, Base Consulting and Management Inc.
- Cynthia Bland & Christine Platt (shared role) – Founder/CEO (Bland), Voice Found and manager (Platt), Anti-Human Trafficking Services, Voice Found
- Detective David Correa – Toronto Police Service, Sex Crimes Human Trafficking Enforcement Team, High Risk Release/Threat Assessment Unit
- Matt Friedman – CEO, The Mekong Club
- Michelle Furgiuele –Human trafficking survivor
- Michelle Guelbart – Former director of Private Sector Engagement, ECPAT-USA; associate director of Private Partnerships at Center for Court Innovation, NYC
- Sian Lea – Managing director, Shiva Foundation UK
- Rita Plaskett, CMP, CMM – President, Agendum Inc.
- Heidi Welker – Senior vice-president, Business Development and Industry Partnerships, Freeman Audio Visual, Canada
“What we all must understand is that if each of us does one thing to combat human trafficking, we can create the momentum that’s happening in our world today. If you see something, say something. If you are wrong, that’s okay. If you are right, you can save a life,” says Biback.
Highlights of MPAHT’s impact to-date include:
- Delivering educational workshops and speeches to more than 2,000 people across Canada and the United States in the hospitality, meeting and events, and travel industry
- Presenting to more than 1,000 students of hospitality in colleges throughout Ontario.
- Participating in the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women‘s “Collaborating to Tackle Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery” panel
- Developing alliances with several global trafficking groups, including the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline
- Recognized by the Government of Canada for improving self-governance within the hospitality industry through education and awareness
About Meeting Professionals Against Human Trafficking
MPAHT is a Toronto-based organization creating awareness of the issue of human trafficking in Canada in the event industry. Focusing on collaboration and education, MPAHT is driving the conversation on human trafficking that may be taking place at events and through allied partners including hotels and airlines. The ultimate aim for the volunteer-based organization is to provide awareness and resources for the meetings and conference industry at large. For more information, visit www.mpaht.com or follow the organization on Twitter (@MPAHTCanada), Instagram (@mpahtcanada), LinkedIn (@mpaht) and Facebook (@MeetingProfessionalsAgainstHumanTrafficking).