What direction for human rights impact assessments?

Richard Boele*, Christine Crispin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This article contributes to the development of a standard of good practice for Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA). It charts the design, delivery and refinement of a methodology for identifying and assessing the human rights impacts of an existing mining operation. The methodology was designed to fulfil the requirements of an internal corporate standard, as well as the due diligence requirements of the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. The HRIA model emphasizes the identification of human rights impacts and the assessment of the effectiveness of responses to such impacts. Four elements are central: (1) building a shared understanding of the historical and current human rights context of the operation; (2) identifying the current and potential areas of human rights impacts and prioritizing them; (3) reviewing the management systems in place to address human rights impacts; and (4) facilitating significant human rights capacity building for operational personnel responsible for managing human rights-related areas. We also consider the question: where is the most natural home for this emerging field of practice? The fields of social impact assessment, corporate accountability and risk assessment are considered. The authors conclude with key questions that require answers before the full potential of HRIA's role in the business and human rights agenda can be realized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-134
Number of pages7
JournalImpact Assessment and Project Appraisal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


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