A methodology for human rights impact assessment (draft version)

A methodology for human rights impact assessment (draft version)

Systematically identifying, predicting and responding to projects potential impacts on human rights

This methodology for Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) manual aims to systematically identify, predict and respond to projects' potential impacts on human rights. Experience has shown that standard assessments, those of environmental, social or health impacts cannot capture the full range of issues that might trigger or exacerbate human rights violations. The HRIA addresses this gap, differing from other assessments in both extent and perspective.

The goal of this methodology is to assist in the creation of valid, useful and ultimately meaningful human rights impact assessments. This followed the United Nation’s Special Representative on Human Rights and Business Professor John Ruggie's presentation to the Human Rights Council with a framework for delegating human rights and responsibilities between governments and companies.

The process of creating and using HRIA is still in its early phases. Their relevance will depend on a continuing improvement of method, capacity and result which can only be accomplished through the sharing of experience and information between companies and assessors.

The methodology looks at HRIA assessment sources, goals, and types. It covers basic concepts and looks provides five steps for implementation:  

  • gather project contexts and company information 
  • drawing up a preliminary list of impacted rights 
  • drawing up a preliminary list of impacted right holders 
  • special topics  
  • inquiry guided by topic catologue

The methodology offers recommendations for policies, procedures, structures and action. It also provides an appendix of other tools and selected best practices.

  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.