Danish Institute for Human Rights, 2021

Businesses impact human rights wherever and however they operate. The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights set the expectation that businesses conduct human right due diligence. This includes assessing and responding to any actual and potential human rights impacts that might arise from or be directly linked to their activities.

Human rights impact assessment (HRIA) analyses the effects that business activities have on rights-holders such as workers, local community members, consumers and others. HRIA follows a human rights-based approach, which integrates human rights principles such as non-discrimination into the assessment process.

With increased attention being given to the accountability of businesses for their human rights impacts, HRIA has gained traction as one approach available to the private sector, non-government and civil society organisations, governments and other stakeholders for assessing and addressing the adverse impacts of business activities on human rights.

This Guidance and Toolbox is modelled on HRIA for large-scale business projects conducted at the project or site level. However, many of the sections will be relevant in other contexts and could usefully be adapted to suit smaller projects or different types of business activities, or be utilised when integrating human rights into environmental, social and health impact assessments. For information on sector wide impact assessments, see the SWIA page.

The Guidance and Toolbox features a number of practitioner supplements – find them here as zip file.

Helpful Links:

The HRIA Process: