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Handbook on Human Rights Impact Assessment

Edited by Nora Götzmann, Senior Adviser, Human Rights and Business, The Danish Institute for Human Rights, Denmark
Human rights impact assessment (HRIA) has increasingly gained traction among state, business and civil society actors since the endorsement of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by the Human Rights Council in 2011. This timely and insightful Handbook addresses HRIA in the context of business and human rights.
Extent: c 560 pp
Hardback Price: $315.00 Web: $283.50
Publication Date: November 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78811 999 3
Availability: Not yet published
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  • eISBN: 978 1 78897 000 6

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Human rights impact assessment (HRIA) has increasingly gained traction among state, business and civil society actors since the endorsement of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by the Human Rights Council in 2011. This timely and insightful Handbook addresses HRIA in the context of business and human rights.

Employing state-of-the-art analysis of current practice, the contributors offer a dynamic overview of contemporary approaches to HRIA, looking ahead to its future trajectories. Chapters present key methodological concepts and new theoretical developments, comparing different approaches from project to sector and governance level. Collectively, these critical appraisals shed light on the role that HRIA can play in addressing the adverse human rights impacts of business activities and fostering sustainable development.

Featuring extensive analysis of HRIA practice in a range of industrial contexts and global regions, this Handbook provides crucial insight for practitioners working with impact assessment, human rights, and sustainable development, as well as businesses, investors, government actors and multilateral institutions promoting responsible business conduct. Academics and others investigating human rights and impact assessments in business contexts will also benefit from this book’s comprehensive analysis of theoretical developments in HRIA research.
‘Götzmann singlehandedly brings together an impressive array of high calibre authors to provide readers with a comprehensive Handbook on the topic of human rights impact assessment. With coverage across a variety of sectors, cases, issues, and dilemmas, the volume also offers insights and ideas for forging new pathways towards human rights enjoyment in a complex and contested world.’
– Deanna Kemp, University of Queensland, Australia

‘The global community today faces a number of challenges and opportunities that bring with them threats to human rights. From intensive infrastructure delivery to natural resource exploitation, from climate change to mass migration, human rights are closely intertwined with environmental and political concerns. This Handbook offers clear-headed, expert advice on how human rights cannot only be considered in these developments but how they can be placed at the centre. The Handbook details leading methods, asserts the importance of diverse perspectives, considers varied socio-cultural contexts, and argues strongly for an interlinkage between project-based assessments and the broader business and human rights sphere. In so doing, the contributors deliver an essential resource for impact assessment practitioners, corporate, civil society and government representatives seeking to improve the consideration and protection of human rights.’
– Sara Bice, President (2018-2019) International Association for Impact Assessment

‘The duty to prepare human rights impact assessments has been, until now, honoured more in the breach than in the observance. This is due both to the lack of political will or good faith and to the complexity of the method. This impressive Handbook answers at least half of the equation: it shall now be for policy-makers and businesses to pick up the gauntlet.’
– Olivier De Schutter, former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food (2008-2014) and Member of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

'With a record number of shareholder resolutions filed on human rights due diligence in the 2019 proxy season, investors are increasingly asking companies to disclose how they identify and assess the real and potential adverse human rights impacts of their activities and business relationships. This Handbook provides valuable guidance for investors on a range of factors to consider when engaging companies on HRIAs, including how to ensure meaningful participation of rights-holders; relevant standards and frameworks to foster accountability; and what adequate disclosure of HRIA processes and findings should look like.'
– Paloma Muñoz Quick, Director, Investor Alliance for Human Rights

‘If companies are to meet their responsibility to respect human rights, they need a clear understanding of what their impacts on people’s human rights are or could be. The practice of human rights impact assessment is still a developing field, and the sharing of methodologies, insights, successes and challenges is central to its advancement and consolidation. This Handbook offers both practitioners of impact assessment and all of us with an interest in advancing business respect for human rights, an invaluable resource. I challenge anyone not to find fresh ideas, reflections and inspiration in its pages.’
– Caroline Rees, President and Co-Founder, Shift, US

‘An important book for those who want to understand the process of translating corporate human rights due diligence into practical action, and ultimately results for the people affected by company decisions. An essential read for everyone working at the nexus of business and human rights.’
– Ida Hyllested, Child Rights and Business Specialist at UNICEF


Contributors include: T. Bansal, S. Baumgartner, C. Bloch Veiberg, C. Brodeur, E. Buergi Bonanomi, T.M. Collins, R. Cleland, K.Y. Cordes, L.F. de Angulo, R. DeWinter-Schmitt, C. Doyle, G. Factor, B. Feiring, R.F. Jørgensen, A. González Cavazos, N. Götzmann, J. Harrison, S. Joyce, J. Loots, C. Lopez, S. McInerney-Lankford, B. Meyersfeld, I. Musselli, K. Salcito, C. Scheper, S. Szoke-Burke, I. Tamir, J.R. Tedaldi, N. ten Oever, D. Utlu, M. Wachenfeld, S. Walker, E. Wrzoncki, Y. Wyss, S. Zoen

Contents:

PART I: CONCEPTUAL AND PRACTICAL FOUNDATIONS
1. Introduction to human rights impact assessment (HRIA) in the business context: principles, methods and approaches
Nora Götzmann

PART II: METHODS AND APPROACHES
2. Company-commissioned HRIA: concepts, practice, limitations and opportunities
Kendyl Salcito

3. Community-based HRIA: presenting an alternative view to the company narrative
Caroline Brodeur, Irit Tamir and Sarah Zoen

4. Collaborative and participatory approaches to HRIA: the way forward?
Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Sam Szoke-Burke and Tulika Bansal

5. Sector-wide impact assessment: a ‘big picture’ approach to addressing human rights impacts
Margaret Wachenfeld, Elin Wrzoncki and Luis F. de Angulo

6. HRIA in the context of trade agreements
Simon Walker

PART III: RIGHTS-HOLDERS IN FOCUS
7. Children’s rights in HRIA: marginalized or mainstreamed?
Tara M. Collins

8. Indigenous peoples’ rights: HRIA an enabler for free prior and informed consent?
Cathal Doyle

9. The rights of women and girls in HRIA: the importance of gendered impact assessment
Bonita Meyersfeld

PART IV: INDUSTRY CASE STUDIES
10. Knowing and showing: the role of HRIA in the food and beverage sector
Yann Wyss and Tulika Bansal

11. Mining in México: lessons from an ex ante community-based HRIA on the right to water, the right to health and the right to a healthy environment
Alejandro González Cavazos

12. Exploring the role of HRIA in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector
Rikke Frank Jørgensen, Cathrine Bloch Veiberg and Niels ten Oever

13. HRIA of trade agreements involving agriculture: enabling innovative trade options that protect human rights
Elisabeth Buergi Bonanomi and Irene Musselli

14. Travel and tourism: a comparative analysis of different HRIA approaches
Sibylle Baumgartner and Tulika Bansal

15. Assessing human rights impacts in global value chains: can HRIA go beyond social audits in the apparel industry?
Christian Scheper

16. Infrastructure development in Africa: making use of HRIA in public-private partnerships
Josua Loots

PART V: CURRENT CHALLENGES AND FUTURE POSSIBILITIES
17. Challenges and strategies for meaningful rights-holder participation in company-commissioned HRIA
Susan Joyce

18. Understanding conflict for HRIA
Roper Cleland

19. The need for a multidisciplinary HRIA team: learning and collaboration across fields of impact assessment
Rebecca DeWinter-Schmitt and Kendyl Salcito

20. Measuring business impacts on human rights: practice and trends in the use of indicators for HRIA
Cathrine Bloch Veiberg, Gabriela Factor and Jacqueline R. Tedaldi

21. Towards a definition of effectiveness in HRIA
Deniz Utlu

22. The concept of accountability in HRIA
Nora Götzmann

23. HRIA and the right to an effective remedy
Carlos Lopez

24. Human rights, international financial institutions and environmental and social due diligence: the value added of HRIA
Siobhán McInerney-Lankford

25. The use of impact assessments by governments and businesses: questioning purpose and utility
James Harrison

26. Realizing human rights and the 2030 Agenda through comprehensive impact assessments: lessons learned from addressing indigenous peoples’ rights in the energy sector
Birgitte Feiring

PART VI: CONCLUSIONS
27. Conclusion: state-of-the art of HRIA and ways forward
Nora Götzmann

Index