RFK Flagship Initiative – Social Responsibility for Mediterranean challenges: the business community for public policies and social innovation” 


The European and Mediterranean countries are facing a period of crucial transformation due to the intensification of migration flows from countries affected by armed conflicts or poor living conditions. In the last years, more than half (54%) of all refugees worldwide came from three countries1: the Syrian Arab Republic (4.9 million), Afghanistan (2.7 million) and Somalia (1.1 million).

These migration flows have a deep social and economic impact on hosting society as the majority of the working-age refugees are not involved in legal employment, sometimes the local governments do not guarantee them the protection of asylum rights they are entitled to and most of the youth are not attending school or higher-education institutes. Moreover, the massive flows have overwhelmed the hosting capacity of many governments.

These living conditions have made Europe an attractive option for escaping people. According to the data provided by the UNHCR (Global Trends Annual Report 2016) “asylum-seekers submitted a record high number of new applications for asylum or refugee status – estimated at 2.0 million. With 441,900 asylum claims, Germany was the world’s largest recipient of new individual applications”. A shared public-private social responsibility, especially in high-income countries, can ensure an effective and long lasting response to the migration crisis. According to the report of the World Bank Group (Forcibly Displaced), in fact, “an equitable sharing of responsibilities is essential to resolve the current crisis and high-income countries should do more in providing solutions. Their economies have greater capacity to absorb newcomers than those of developing host countries and the potential benefits for economic growth are much larger”.

In the light of the above mentioned facts, the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Italia wants to give its contribution to face the current migration crisis by developing a new project focused on social responsibility, which aims to be a valuable resource for inter-governmental policies. Our strategy is to engage the business community and support efficient public-private partnerships to enhance public policies, defend human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers and support their integration in the host countries. RFK Italia wants to establish a hub to facilitate strategic partnerships and relations between the business community and public authorities to face the Mediterranean challenges, with a specific focus on migration by supporting projects with a high social impact.

Who is eligible for applying?
To be selected projects should be focused on the following issues:

– migration crisis and social inclusion of migrants/refugees/asylum seekers.
– migration crisis and international cooperation, capacity building and development.
The projects should be funded (or aimed to be) by public or private funds. They can be funded by
international organizations, public institutions, private companies, private foundations and other entities.
They can also be directly funded and implemented by private companies and/or private foundations, as well as by local, national, European and international organizations.
The projects might be at different stages of implementation:
– Project ideas – specifying the area of interest/action and objectives, identification of the beneficiaries,
envisaged collaboration with partners, business plan, timetable;
– Projects in phase of implementation – specifying area of interest/action and objectives, identification
of the beneficiaries, collaboration with partners, business plan, timetable, qualitative/quantitative indicators
to measure the impact.
Projects can include the transfer of:
– technical solutions useful to improve people’s daily life conditions, with the aim of preventing and facing
the triggering of migration flows;
– know-how from professionals/experts to migrants/refugees/asylum seekers;
– technical solutions and know-how to social workers, operators (working with migrants/refugees/asylum
seekers) and their organizations.
Projects have to be characterized by innovation and sustainability.

Geographical scope of the projects
Italy has to be one of the countries where activities are/will be implemented (Italy can also be a partner country, not only one of the activities set).
A special consideration will be given to projects addressed to Mediterranean and/or African area (Southern European countries, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East): projects that, regardless of the promoter country, will be implemented in Mediterranean and/or African area.

List of sectors of interest:
Social Integration;
Economic Integration;
Cultural Integration;
Professional development;
Skills and competences mapping/recognition;
Mapping of market needs;
Initiatives and tools for job matching;
Social cohesion;
Active citizenship/social participation;
Community investment planning;
Unaccompanied minors;
Gender equality;

A portfolio of 10 project proposals will be presented to the Steering Committee for the final evaluation. The selected projects will be presented during the Flagship Event, in Milan (June – 2017). Projects will be selected based on their impact on migrants and refugees’ lives or on their countries of origin.

The flagship event is a showcase for high social impact projects addressing migration challenges in the Mediterranean. During the event the selected projects will be presented to CEOs, political leaders and international organizations’ representatives who will then decide how to support the project if through funding or mentoring or in other ways. The selection of the project for the flagship event does not imply automatically the disbursement of funds.

Besides, the Steering Committee will share its experience with the audience by presenting its best practices, with the aim to inspire projects’ promoters. All the selected projects will be supported by a follow up activity carried out by the RFK Initiative promoters.

How to apply – Timeline and Projects selection:

To apply you need to fill in the application form (additional documents included budget should be provided upon specific request). Applications can be filled out both in English and Italian and will be accepted until 30 April 2017, 12:00 CET.

Online Application Form

Info: rfkflagship@rfkhumanrights.org 

Tel: 055 53 89 250