HUMAN RIGHTS IMPACT ASSESSMENTS
This service is at the core of human rights due diligence as explained by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). Human rights impact assessments are a tool of knowledge: knowledge of what adverse human rights impacts business have or can have. Human rights impacts assessments only work if there is trust. If a company does not provide full access to what is necessary to assess, chances are to end up with only part of the picture, and the issues that did not surface will continue to hunt you until they are fixed.
The best part of human rights impacts assessment is that they provide companies with knowledge, and knowledge is power: the power to change and address human rights adverse impacts. The size of the company clearly matters too in terms of what to assess (i.e. operations/ units/ sites/ a subsidiary), but also who to involve in the process (i.e. human resources, legal, procurement, environmental departments, etc.). If you want to know your operations impacts, then a stakeholders mapping and engagement is something you may want to consider doing. For more information about this process, please have a look at my service Stakeholders Engagement.
Another aspect which is generally looked at in impacts assessments is what kind of policies the company already has in place, and how to bridge the gaps with what international standards and guidelines recommend. The Policy Gap Analysis service will provide you with more insight on this topic. Once you conduct a first human rights impact assessment, you can use its results as a baseline to keep monitoring your company’s impact.
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