Human Rights and Impact Assessment: Clarifying the Connections in Practice

Historically, impact assessment practice has not explicitly considered human rights. That human rights are relevant to business has been confirmed through the United Nations Human Rights Councils endorsement of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Special Representative to the Secretary-General on business and human rights, Professor John Ruggie, advocated awareness of ?rights-holders? and ?duty-bearers? and a shift from third parties ?naming and shaming? companies as a way of addressing human rights harms to companies also ?knowing and showing? how they are taking responsibility for their human rights impacts and managing their human rights risks. Consideration of human rights should therefore be central to impact assessment for private sector projects, especially those affecting livelihoods, environment, health, safety and security, land and property, culture and gender dynamics. We provide an introduction to the business and human rights debate, discuss the relevance of human rights to the field of impact assessment, and examine a range of challenges associated with integrating the fields of human rights and social impact assessment.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Human Rights Impact Assessments
Author: Deanna Kemp, Frank Vanclay