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 6: HRIA in the context of trade agreements

Simon Walker


This chapter focuses on methodology and practice of human rights impact assessment (HRIA) of trade agreements. It sets out the basic steps of the methodology and identifies the actors, time and resources involved, referencing current practice. The assessments covered include HRIAs that focus specifically on human rights (stand-alone HRIAs) and assessments that integrate human rights alongside the analysis of economic, environmental and social impacts (integrated IAs). The chapter examines opportunities and challenges related to HRIA of trade agreements, highlighting the broader context of human rights due diligence (HRDD) of business projects and activities under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), which has provided both guidance and impetus for HRIA of trade agreements. The chapter highlights the incorporation of participatory assessment techniques as a particular challenge facing HRIAs of trade agreements and encourages development of further methodological guidance in this regard.

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