This briefing note, co-authored with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Sciences Po Law School Clinic, outlines a new approach to conducting human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of business operations or projects, which brings together project-affected people, the company, and other stakeholders to jointly design and implement an assessment. The aim of this new approach is to address one of the key challenges of current HRIA practices: the limited engagement and participation of relevant stakeholders, which can undermine effectiveness and trust. It accompanies a more in-depth discussion paper on similar issues, entitled A Collaborative Approach to Human Rights Impact Assessments. Research for the briefing note and paper was supported in part by The Tiffany & Co. Foundation.
The briefing note outlines factors that will affect the effectiveness of such an approach and describes a number of steps that will be required for a successful process, from ensuring meaningful participation and capacity building of all stakeholders involved in the assessment to carefully governing and funding the process. This collaborative approach is designed to improve communication between relevant stakeholders, increase access to relevant information for rights holders, encourage greater engagement with the findings and recommendations of the assessment, and, most importantly, ensure increased prevention or mitigation of negative human rights impacts.
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, Danish Institute for Human Rights & Sciences Po Law School Clinic,
Briefing Note: A Collaborative Approach to Human Rights Impact Assessments,
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/sustainable_investment_staffpubs/172