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Carlos Lopez

Human rights impact assessment (HRIA) is an important tool for companies and states in the context of business operations as part of due diligence. While first and foremost a preventative tool, impact assessments may also be relevant for the processes of establishing the legal liability of companies for alleged abuses of human rights and in the processes available to victims to search for remedy and reparation. There is not one but several ways in which impact assessments relate to the right to an effective remedy. Impact assessments could be part of the test of fault or negligence, used as a positive defence by businesses or be considered as a factor in the sentencing stage. The performance by companies or states of impact assessments, whether required under the law or not, could be a right in itself and may also be subject to certain rules, the inobservance of which may raise the prospect of a legal challenge.

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José Carlos Márquez-López, Carmen Guzmán and Francisco Liñán

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Isabel Sainz-Fernández, Begoña Torre-Olmo and Carlos López-Gutiérrez

Microfinance arises in response to the demand for funding by the informal economic sector, given the limitations of the formal and informal financial systems, contributing to the development of countries. This chapter analyses the contribution of the microfinance sector to economic development and the repercussions originating from this contribution. Beginning with the limitations of the traditional financial systems and analysing the characteristics of the microfinance sector, the chapter describes the types of microfinance institutions. All of these institutions have two different kinds of objectives, social and financial, which are studied in this chapter. Finally, given that in the literature the relationship between the two sectors (microfinance and financial) is not clear, we present the main conclusions of the studies that find a positive or negative relationship between them.