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Getting it Right: Human Rights Impact Assessment Guide
Right and Democracy
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Right and Democracy
This framework (online source) provides a step-by-step process for those wishing to take stock of and assess the positive and negative human rights impacts of an investment project in their community.
A human rights impact assessment (HRIA) is a process to measure the gap between the human rights commitments of the state (human rights in principle) and the actual enjoyment of these rights by rights-holders (human rights in practice). By calling on the participation of all stakeholders involved in the investment project, the assessment seeks to identify the rights that are not respected, or indications that they might not be respected in the future, so that satisfactory solutions can be found.
This framework is a step-by-step process that allows assessment teams to take stock of the positive and negative human rights impacts of an investment project. Throughout the steps, information and additional references are provided including reference documents on human rights, examples of research techniques, relevant websites, and details on where to find specific information. To help create your case-specific assessment model, this guide offers a sampling of research questions with references to various indicators for each right (developed by other organizations). Of course, every project is unique and each assessment pursues its own objectives. Consequently, each research team must adapt the questions and develop new ones to ensure that the final assessment report truly reflects the particular situation, the local context, the type of investment and the communities affected.
This guide is designed primarily for communities and the civil society organizations they work with. The objective of the assessment guide is to assist these communities to document the human rights impacts of foreign investment projects as they are experienced by community members. This guide also encourages a more substantive engagement in the decision-making processes that affect the enjoyment of their rights. It can be adapted and used by civil society organizations outside the community that accompany local groups in this process. The methodology is also suited to company-led processes that emphasize the participation of affected communities.
This guide is divided into six parts -
Phase A: Preparation
Step 1 – Take a preliminary look at the foreign investment project
Step 2 – Build your assessment team
Step 3 – Identify the stakeholders
Step 4 – Protect yourself and your team
Step 5 – Meet with the community
Step 6 – Set objectives
Step 7 – Think about how you will gather information
Step 8 – Develop a work plan and budget
Step 9 – Contact selected stakeholders
Phase B: Legal Framework
Step 10 – What do you know about the country?
Step 11 – What do you know about the company?
Step 12 – Establish the legal framework governing the investment project
Phase C: Adapting the Guide
Step 13 – Select human rights
Step 14 – Select questions
Phase D: Investigation Process
Step 15 – The community and human rights
Step 16 – The government and the national human rights context
Step 17 – The company and human rights
Step 18 – Take stock of information received
Step 19 – Validate information
Step 20 – Preliminary recommendations
Phase E: Analysis and Report
Step 21 – Analyze your findings
Step 22 – Develop a draft report with conclusion
Step 23 – Circulate the draft report for comments
Step 24 – Finalize the report