Conceptual and Methodological Advances
Edited by Frank Vanclay and Ana Maria Esteves
Chapter 21: A Human Rights-based Approach to Social Impact Assessment
21. A human rights-based approach to social impact assessment Gillian MacNaughton and Paul Hunt Introduction In recent years, as a field of research and practice, social impact assessment (SIA) has grown to encompass a professional value system that is based upon fundamental human rights (Vanclay, 2003). Key features of this value system are fairness, transparency, participation, accountability and empowerment. It also holds a central concern for disadvantaged groups in society, including women, minorities and people living in poverty. Drawing on these core values, the SIA community has adopted fundamental principles for development and for SIA practice. First among these principles is that ‘respect for human rights should underpin all actions’ (Vanclay, 2003, p. 9). Independent from this evolution in the SIA community, the human rights community has recently begun to explore using impact assessment as a tool to advance the enjoyment of human rights. Indeed, the United Nations human rights treaty bodies have called upon governments to perform human rights impact assessments to ensure that they are respecting their obligations under international human rights law (Hunt and MacNaughton, 2006). In response, the human rights community – including UN Special Rapporteurs, civil society organizations, academics and others working to promote and protect human rights – has embarked on developing human rights impact assessment (HRIA) methodologies and tools, and have drawn upon the experiences of the other types of impact assessment, including SIA (UNHCHR, 2009). This convergence of values and methodology in the SIA and human rights communities makes it timely to open a...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.