Human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) sit at the heart of businesses’ due diligence obligations as they seek to minimize human rights risks and lessen adverse impacts of business activities on affected populations. However, workers and communities affected by large-scale business operations often lack the information, capacity and technical expertise to engage meaningfully with companies and governments in the assessment of human rights impacts. To overcome these shortcomings, communities may conduct their own community-based human rights impact assessments (COBHRAs). This chapter provides an overview of the COBHRA methodology and its application in two concrete case studies. The chapter also discusses key challenges and opportunities for the methodology. It is argued that by putting local communities at the forefront of the impact assessment, COBHRAs not only help to identify long-lasting solutions to human rights issues but also contribute to rebalancing power between stakeholders.
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