Handbook on Human Rights Impact Assessment
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Handbook on Human Rights Impact Assessment

Edited by Nora Götzmann

Human rights impact assessment (HRIA) has increasingly gained traction among state, business and civil society actors since the endorsement of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by the Human Rights Council in 2011. This timely and insightful Handbook addresses HRIA in the context of business and human rights.
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Chapter 5: Sector-wide impact assessment: A big picture approach to addressing human rights impacts

Margaret Wachenfeld, Elin Wrzoncki and Luis F. de Angulo


This chapter looks at the methodology and practice of sector-wide impact assessment (SWIA), a methodology developed to consider sector, cumulative and project-level human rights impacts holistically. The chapter starts with outlining the methodology and discussing the rationale for undertaking a SWIA as compared to other types of methodologies used to identify, analyse and address impacts of business activities on human rights. The process of conducting a SWIA is then described, drawing on practical examples from Myanmar and Colombia. The chapter argues that SWIA can help to create a shared vision of responsible business conduct across stakeholders through facts-based analysis and dialogue. This shared vision can in turn provide the basis for actions by different stakeholders to address the adverse human rights impacts of a sector comprehensively. The chapter concludes with a discussion of challenges, lessons learned and pathways forward for the future development and application of this methodology.

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