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Understand who is on the other side!  

00:00 / 43:25

A conversation with
Francesco Bruscoli 

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Laura María Calderón Cuevas

Véronique Lerch

Brua |


Animated by the sense of justice, the guest of this episode, Francesco Bruscoli, started his career working for international organisations such as OSCE, ICRC and the UN in the protection domain. 

He then took two surprising segways in his career and found ways to apply his human right knowledge in places where human rights is not always given a predominant place. First, he worked for a few years for FIFA as Senior Development Manager in Africa. In that position, he took a more social approach to football than his colleagues by trying to have an impact on communities through football.  

His second segway made him switch from a role where he was the one inspecting prisons to the one managing a prison. He is currently working as the manager of an administrative detention center in Geneva. As a human rights professional, you spend a lot of time interviewing people for different reasons; those listening skills are useful to create a respectful atmosphere and develop the most appropriate rules by listening to detainees and staff. “Within the boundaries of the rules, there are many ways to engage with people.”

“My main advice is to understand what you are talking about. And this applies not only to prisons, but also military operations. If you go and speak just from a purely principles’ perspective, disregarding the practical elements and their needs, the message will not pass through. Do that while sticking to principles, which will guide your recommendations.”

His advice to graduates:

  • Follow your own interests!

  • Grap opportunities!

  • Take risks!


“Never in my youth, I would have thought I would end up as a prison director or as a FIFA official either. In a way, it was a mixture of chance, taking risks and also following my own interests.”

Picture Francesco Bruscoli.JPG

Within the boundaries of the rules, there are many ways to engage with people

Francesco Bruscoli 


Francesco Bruscoli was born in 1975 in Alto Adige/Südtirol, Italy. An Amnesty International activist since age 16, he studied Political science in Gorizia. He obtained the the European Masters Degree in Human Rights and Democratization with a thesis on the interpretation of the Europen Convention on Human Rights in light of International Humanitarian Law, which was subsequently published in the Human Rights Journal.


From 2001 to 2010, Francesco Bruscoli worked for several international organisations (OSCE, UN, ICRC) in several contexts (Central African Republic, Rwanda, Colombia, Isreal/Occupied Territories, Ethiopia, Tunisia) primarily in the Protection domain.


Between 2011 and 2014 he worked as Senior Development Manager for Africa at FIFA, continuing his activity ion the sport domain until 2017 as an independent consultant.


He re-joined ICRC in 2018 as Detention Advisor.

Since november 2021 he is Prison Director at the Frambois prison in Geneva.

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