In today’s society, despite major advances that have taken place in regard to Human Rights, there’s still a huge gap between businesses and communities. Indeed, local communities and companies are living in two separate realities: local communities don’t understand the purpose of the companies that are (physically) close to them, and companies – often with their eyes focused solely on profits – don’t understand what the local communities that surround them really need.
However, according to AVSI Foundation’s Giampaolo Silvestri, there is a solution for bridging this gap. When businesses take the initiative to both understand and follow-up on the Human Rights that they may or may not be respecting, they are actually creating shared value: when a business’s relationship with local communities is positive, it’s a win-win situation. Businesses are more profitable, individual human dignity is respected and all stakeholders can take part in and benefit from the economic development.
AVSI is an international NGO working in 30 countries around the world. Beginning with our experience with enterprises, we have seen that there is a place for cooperation, a partnership, between companies and local communities. AVSI wishes to bridge this gap between the corporate infrastructure and the person. Our purpose is to promote human dignity.
With our experience, we have seen that if companies come to understand the real needs of the community, the community can understand the needs of the company. It is thus possible for companies to respect Human Rights.
We have prepared a tool with which it is possible to assure due diligence, to verify the cases in which the enterprise is not respecting Human Rights while at the same time find a solution in order to mitigate these negative effects.
In the end, this also brings added value to the companies because if their relationship with the community is positive, it becomes easier for the former to increase their business and their profits by involving all the stakeholders in their development.
AVSI Foundation is an international not-for-profit NGO that was founded in Italy in 1972. Its mission is to promote the dignity of the person through development cooperation activities, with special attention to education, following the social teachings of the Catholic Church. AVSI is currently involved in more than 136 cooperation projects in 30 developing countries.