Save the children is an association that was created in 1919. It is one of the largest International Independent Organizations that operates in more than 125 countries. Moreover, it is a non-governmental organization that focuses and intervenes in situations of emergencies and natural disasters. Save the Children does also operate in areas such as education, health, abuse protection, minor exploitation, poverty and many more.

During these few days at EXCO, we got the opportunity to participate at various speeches and conferences regarding these crucial themes.

Luca Maestripieri, newest director of the Italian organization AICS, held the first part of the speech dedicated to what the goals and missions of this latter are. AICS is the acronym for “Agenzia Italiana per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo” that stands for cooperation and development in the whole country of Italy. There are plenty of aims as a Director of AICS that need to be taken into consideration – the most important one is to safeguard the presence and realization of the most basic human rights on earth. He then also focuses on protecting children’s rights and to guarantee them a stable future. Violations and abuses are not rare in today’s world; this is why we need to adapt a multi-stakeholder approach to fight against this cruel reality. Around 152 millions of children and adolescents are victims of labor slavery especially in the Sub-Saharan Africa are, and need external help to face this terrible situation that has been going on. This can be done through the help of companies that are engaged in this field, through dialogues and reflections on the current state. But what exactly does AICS fight for? They fight for gender equality and bettering women’s conditions in the human rights field and working environment. Moreover, minor’s justice is also a huge topic in programs in central America, Bolivia and Afghanistan. It is really important to strengthen institutional and community support. Every person as a human being has right to an identity and to the acknowledgment of individual capacities.

After we welcomed Fabrizio Petri that held a speech about the challenges and implementation of human rights in firms of different dimensions. He emphasized the huge difference among big firms and small/ middle firms. In fact, he said that the main goal is to involve and engage these small and middle firms into human rights promotion. Petri also talked about the involvement of schools and universities in this field that is now seen almost as a mainstream problem. Moreover, he deepened the discussion on the so called “red wire” of the famous agenda of 2030. This red wire deals with violence in the women’s working sphere and with domestic violence.

As the third guest, we welcomed Giulia Genuardi, currently working at ENEL. She got back to the point of Petri, discussing the involvement of big and small firms in human rights promotion. In fact, she said, it is important to have a sort of compliance, commitment and engagement of all the possible stakeholders of the firm. Moreover, it would be even better if external persons would be involved, this distributes the notions and importance of the topic. Human rights is everything that goes from diversity, safety of the environment onto sustainability. Genuardi also talked about the financial aspect of the human rights management. In fact, the topic focuses not only on the ethical part, but is also a way to create added value. The most important thing to retain from her speech is that often people don’t have a common intention and common view of rights. Every person has a different conception of rights that often doesn’t correspond to reality. This is why a common concept and perception is crucial.

As a last speaker, we welcomed Giosuè de Salvo that represented the NGO of Manitese. He did emphasize one more time the importance of rights in our society nowadays. In fact, more that 61% of firms has no social reference to what rights actually are. It is also important to start the education on rights at a young age, and therefore introducing classes at schools and universities on this topic. The main challenge that we are now facing are mainly on the dichotomy between development cooperation and human rights.

Last but not least, Elena Avenati did resume in a wonderful way what the motto of the whole presentation should be; people should transform challenges in opportunities, protect human rights and improve the investments for the future.

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