First, this is not something that can be done in 5 seconds. This is a process. And, you have, I think, many different options. The first step is to refrain from abuse, which is sometimes the easiest thing: not to pollute, not to kill, not to hurt people… But the second step is more active; you have to act in a way where Human Rights are promoted, i.e. hiring men and women equally. But, the third step, the most important one, is to be proactive, to make proactive actions for compliance. This is when you create, in the communities around you, around your business, a sense of security and well-being that is helping, much more than any other thing, the respect of Human Rights.
We’ve worked on a big study of more than 300 cases, so we have a certain experience. But the most interesting is the one in the south of Tunisia, in the desert, a woman who is preparing a carpet. She is working with her fingers very quickly, and at a certain moment my friend, who was promoting the craft of such regions, put in front on her a computer. So at this very moment, you’re not only hiring her fingers but her brain. And her reaction was fantastic: she turned to us and – she was very shy, she was covered with a scarf – and she gave us an incredibly smile. This is how to protect dignity proactively: not simply hiring fingers, but hiring brains.
And in the end it’s much more profitable because, immediately, the director of this little atelier – in which there were about 20 women – understood that it would much easier for the women to do a better job if they understood what they were doing, if they were informed about what their work was for. This translates into something that is more marketable in the Western world, making carpets; it’s a business at the same time.
I’m from a country where ethics are largely unknown, or neglected. But nonetheless, I’ve been working in many countries – especially the Middle East and Mediterranean – that are now under the spotlight, and often for very bad reasons. Yet I can tell you that there is a very incredible demand for ethics and for principles. These principles are not only theoretical and abstract concepts, but very practices ones because mankind needs guidance in its behaviors, both in regard to economy and daily life.