- Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, Sciences Po Law School Clinic, and the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute (2014) Human Rights Impact Assessments of Large-Scale Foreign Investments: A Collaborative Reflection.
ABSTRACT: This document reflects the outcome of “a one-day roundtable focused on the opportunities and challenges presented by human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of large-scale foreign investments. The roundtable, which was held in April 2014 at Columbia University, provided an opportunity for collaborative reflection on the development of HRIAs, as well as on ways to enhance HRIAs as a framework and tool for both human rights advocacy and human rights risk management in respect of foreign investments. By sharing the outcomes of the roundtable, this document aims to support HRIA practitioners, company officials, civil society representatives, and other stakeholders focused on human rights and foreign investment in further reflection on the objectives and methods of HRIAs. The roundtable examined the various practices comprising HRIAs, and the discussion underscored that many of the challenges associated with carrying out an HRIA are common to multiple stakeholders, albeit borne out in different ways. This outcome document describes some of the primary ways in which HRIAs are undertaken and outlines the salient issues and key challenges that practitioners have identified.”
- Columbia Center on Sustainable Development, Danish Institute for Human Rights, and the Sciences Po Law School Clinic (2017) A Collaborative Approach to Human Rights Impact Assessments.
ABSTRACT: “This paper suggests a new collaborative and participatory approach to human rights impact assessments (HRIAs). It was written for stakeholders—in particular, communities, workers, and other project-affected people; their representatives, including local and international civil society organizations; companies; and others—who seek more effective strategies for investigating the human rights impacts of business projects or operations, and who are willing to consider a collaborative assessment. For this audience, the paper provides a set of considerations relevant to such an undertaking. This paper may also be of interest to representatives of companies, project affected people, or civil society organizations who are not yet ready to undertake a fully collaborative assessment, but who wish to make their human rights impact assessments more inclusive and responsive, or who seek to encourage greater buy-in from other stakeholders. Such readers might be particularly interested in, for example, the sections on stakeholder involvement and meaningful participation (pp 28-36), the steering committee (pp 38-42), or transparency and disclosure (pp 72-74).”
- Danish Institute for Human Rights (2016) Human Rights Impact Assessment Workshop. 17 November 2016, Geneva – Summary Report.
ABSTRACT: “On 17 November 2016, a group of 22 human rights and impact assessment practitioners – ranging from company representatives, company and community-led HRIA practitioners, financial institutions and multilateral organisations – came together to discuss the topic of human rights impact assessment (HRIA). The aim of the workshop was to discuss the state of play on HRIA, hear from practitioners about different approaches to working with human rights in impact assessment, and to discuss a future vision for the HRIA space and a HRIA ‘community of practice’.” This report presents a summarized account of the main themes and topics of discussion
- Danish Institute for Human Rights, DLA Piper (2017) Human Rights Impact Assessment and Legal Advisory Work: Frequently Asked Questions.
ABSTRACT: “How can human rights impacts assessment (HRIA) assist businesses to meet the requirements of emerging governance and regulatory initiatives? How is HRIA relevant in the context of corporate transactions such as mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”)? What types of legal strategies can be used to contribute to the effective implementation of HRIA mitigation measures?… The FAQ note works through several common questions that HRIA practitioners and lawyers may have regarding HRIA, providing practical advice and insights into how such questions may be answered.
- Hamm B and Scheper C (2012) Human Rights Impact Assessments for Implementing Corporate Responsibility: Conceptual Challenges and Practical Approaches. INEF Research Paper Series.
ABSTRACT: “By endorsing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in June 2011, the UN Human Rights Council emphasized a distinct corporate responsibility to respect human rights. However, both the normative reach and practical realization of this responsibility are still vague. Against this background, a debate has arisen about the possibilities of implementing human rights due diligence by, and within, companies. In terms of the procedures for so doing, the debate has focused on human rights impact assessments (HRIA). This paper addresses basic conceptual and practical issues with respect to such procedures. As challenging quality criteria for HRIA, the authors particularly examine the right of stakeholders to participate in business decisions and the need for organizational learning in companies. The paper categorizes existing HRIA approaches according to their way of approaching these challenges. It concludes with policy recommendations.
- Harrison J and Stephenson M (2010) Human Rights Impact Assessment: Review of Practice and Guidance for Future Assessments. Scottish Human Rights Commission.
ABSTRACT: “This report provides an over view of existing practices in HRIA in the United Kingdom and internationally… The report concludes that there is considerable variation in the complexity and quality of both HRIA methodologies and the resulting assessments. With few exceptions HRIA methodologies in the UK have tended to be fairly simple and focus on legal compliance with the Human Rights Act. HRIAs in the UK have been carried out as part of combined Equality and Human Rights Impact Assessments. International experience has been more varied and has included some extremely detailed assessments, which have covered social, economic and cultural rights in addition to the civil and political rights considered in the UK. The report analyses existing practice and identifies an eight step methodology for carrying out
HRIAs: 1. A screening stage (performing a preliminary check on the proposed policy to determine whether or not a full-scale impact assessment is necessary); 2. A scoping stage (the initial questions that need to be asked once the decision to undertake a full HRIA has been undertaken); 3. Evidence gathering; 4. Consultation; 5. Analysis; 6. Conclusions and Recommendations; 7. Publication; 8. Monitoring and review. Successful methodologies are very context specific but the report makes a series of general recommendations for developing an effective methodology. It also makes recommendations for implementing HRIA methodologies and finally highlights some strategic questions for organizations introducing HRIAs.”
- OHCHR and FES (2014) Making the Right Impact? Workshop on evaluating HRIAs in Trade and Investment Regimes.
ABSTRACT: “There is increasing recognition of the potential of human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) in trade and investment regimes. In principle, HRIAs can be an effective tool for identifying, quantifying and assessing the ways trade and investment impact upon the full spectrum of human rights. Their practice, however, is beset by challenges, relating to the form they take, how and when they are conducted, the actor undertaking the assessment, and the use that is made of their results. Despite the growing literature on HRIAs in the trade and investment context, there is a lack of established practice, and to date there has been no metaassessment of whether HRIAs work, or of which elements work and which do not. In order to examine this topic, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Geneva office and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) hosted a workshop for twenty-four experts, practitioners and academics in the fields of HRIAs, trade and investment in Geneva from 17 to 18 September 2014. This report summarizes the discussions of the workshop, focusing on the issues facing HRIAs in trade and investment regimes and the role organisations, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the OHCHR, can play in improving the effectiveness of future HRIAs in trade and investment.”
ABSTRACT: “This report reflects learning from a workshop with 12 Dutch companies together with expert stakeholders, hosted by the Social and Economic Rights Council of the Netherlands, about how companies can identify and prioritize human rights risks and test their findings through stakeholder engagement. The annex features examples of real company risks and prioritization exercises within a set of analysis tools. This workshop supported the process leading to the development of sectoral covenants in the Netherlands to address human rights risks in global supply chains.”
- Tromp D (2016) Assessing Business-Related Impacts on Human Rights. Indicators and Benchmarks in Standards and Practice, INEF-Report 110.
ABSTRACT: “With a view to informing the policies and practices of states, business enterprises, and other stakeholders towards universal corporate respect for human rights, this study proposes principled and practical indicators to support the assessment of human rights impacts with which business enterprises may be involved. The study identifies a wide array of contexts in which application of the proposed indicators would help to strengthen state approaches to protecting rights-holders against business-related harm in terms of law, policy, regulation, adjudication and participation in multilateral, international and regional organizations. The study also presents a practical methodology for how the proposed indicators can strengthen current private sector approaches to implementing the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, particularly in terms of assessing the human rights risks and impacts that may be associated with core business operations and business relationships.”