General Guidance

ABSTRACT: “This Guide to HRIA Tools aims to assist business managers of (multinational) corporations and their stakeholders to find their way in the world of Human Rights Impact Assessments. It helps to select the best tool(s) to assure the best HRIA process for the project. This first chapter introduces the theory and history of the HRIAs. The second chapter gives a summary of all the HRIA tools” – at the time of publication – “that have been developed to assess the impact of business on human rights. The third chapter maps these HRIA initiatives in order to facilitate the selection of an HRIA tool, while chapter four provides an overview of when and how these tools can best be used.”

ABSTRACT: This report “captures key lessons learned from BSR’s work conducting human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) and outlines our approach to corporate-, country-, site-, and product-level HRIAs using eight guidelines. The report outlines a framework that should be carefully tailored to a company’s unique risk profile and operating context; it is not intended as an off-the-shelf HRIA tool or checklist… The report includes four key components: 1. Guidelines: Eight principles to keep in mind when conducting an HRIA; 2. In-practice examples: Real company examples from our human rights practice that illustrate the guidelines; 3. HRIA levels: The four levels at which a company can conduct HRIAs; 4. Steps: The basic four-step process we follow when conducting an HRIA.”

ABSTRACT: This report aims to “provide an overview of the state of affairs of Human Rights Impact Assessment instruments and methodologies… [and] explore how the development of Human Rights Impact Assessments might be taken further.” The report identifies areas for further improvement, such as practical solutions for efficient implementation of HRIA and to incentivize uptake; clearer definitions and standards regarding business obligations for human rights so as to allow better comparisons between tools; dialogue between stakeholders to address issues of transparency, accountability, and disclosure in HRIA.

ABSTRACT: This Guide and interactive website is “designed for companies of all sizes, sectors and geographies. It is intended to equip readers with practical advice and real-life examples that help to translate the high-level expectations in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into concrete action… It features step-by-step guidance points, pitfalls to avoid and suggestions for small- and medium-sized enterprises. It also includes leading examples of company policies and practices…” The website also features case studies from four focus countries. Section 3.3 Assessing Impacts focuses to HRIA. It provides guidance on identifying human rights impacts; prioritizing severe impacts; involving the existing risk management function; deepening assessment of impacts throughout the business; and the ongoing process of impact assessment

ABSTRACT: “This publication provides an insight into the different contexts, motives, requirements and approaches of five companies that have begun to assess the human rights risks and impacts of their business activities and relationships. It gives an impression of the benefits and limitations of each chosen approach and outlines the challenges faced and the lessons learned by the companies interviewed. It does not offer universal guidance on how companies should assess human rights risks and impacts. Instead, it provides an insight into corporate practice and experience, issues that have so far been discussed mainly behind closed doors.”

ABSTRACT: “This working paper discusses the topic of human rights and impact assessment in the private sector context. Drawing on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as literature from the areas of human rights impact assessment and the human rights-based approach, the paper outlines and discusses five key criteria for the assessment of human rights impact of private sector projects.” These criteria are “applying international human rights standards,” “address the full scope of impacts,” “adopting a human rights-based approach,” “ensuring accountability,” and “evaluating impact severity and addressing impacts.

ABSTRACT: “This report aims to identify best practices in Human Rights Impact Assessments (hereinafter, HRIA) and incorporate these findings into the development of an HRIA tool for communities affected by investment projects. Communities could use this HRIA tool before, during and upon completion of an investment project. In addition, the community-led HRIA approach can help businesses improve their own human rights due diligence procedures. By reviewing the normative foundations of human rights impact assessments, current best practices and opportunities for further development, this report aims to contribute to the efforts of communities, companies, governments and other stakeholders to ensure respect for human rights in the context of investment projects… PODER proposes a tool that would help communities analyze and understand company logic as well as human rights impact, while also contributing to community organizing. Although other tools exist to assess human rights impact, none of these adequately combine the three aforementioned elements.”

ABSTRACT: The Guide describes NomoGaia’s Human Rights Risk Assessment Tool, which is a means to conduct a quick assessment of major risks associated with a project for a third party interested in assessing human rights risks before making a business decision related to that project. It is not meant to be a complete human rights analysis, but rather is an initial step in the due diligence process. The HRRA tool has been test piloted on projects in LiberiaJordanBurmaUganda and Belize.

ABSTRACT: “This paper identifies and addresses the challenges of implementing the corporate responsibility to respect human rights in practice at project sites. To support on-ground operational staff, we offer the Human Rights Sphere (HRS), a practical tool we developed from empirical research in three large-scale projects and from an analytical literature review. The tool is consistent with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP). The HRS comprises seven steps through which the understanding and addressing of the social and human rights impacts of projects and corporate human rights due diligence procedures can be enhanced. The HRS describes the various groups of rights-holders to be considered, the social and environmental impacts they may experience, and how these impacts can be linked to actual or potential human rights impacts. The HRS shows how corporate mitigation and compensation practices have to be improved to prevent human rights harm to workers and communities. The HRS presents a comprehensive picture of the human rights side of projects and is presented as a practical tool that can be utilized by operational staff at all project phases. By utilising the HRS, multinational corporations will be better equipped to address the adverse human rights impacts of large projects.”

ABSTRACT: “A Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) is an instrument for examining policies, legislation, programs and projects to identify and measure their effects on human rights… Their fundamental purpose is to help prevent negative effects and to maximize positive effects. As such, HRIAs are an indispensable part of making human rights considerations operational in a range of legal and policy contexts… In recent years there has been increasing demand for various actors to undertake HRIAs before adopting and implementing policies, projects, agreements and programs. The development of this tool is part of a growing effort by the human rights community to operationalize the relevance of human rights in various fields, including development, and thus to advance an understanding of the ways in which public policies and development projects affect the enjoyment of people’s rights… The purpose of this Study is to review the various existing approaches to HRIAs in order to assess their current form, content, methodology and use, as well as their potential relevance to development policy and practice.”

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