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 8: Indigenous peoples rights: Is HRIA an enabler for free, prior and informed consent?

Cathal Doyle


Indigenous peoples are recognized under international human rights law (IHRL) as a distinct category of rights-holders with sui generis collective rights. To guarantee these rights in the context of business activities, IHRL has established several state duties and associated business responsibilities. These include the requirements to conduct human rights impact assessment (HRIA) to assess potential impacts of business activities on indigenous peoples’ rights, and to consult with them in good faith in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) to those impacts. This chapter examines the prospects for the operationalization of a mutually reinforcing relationship between indigenous-rights-based conceptions of FPIC and HRIA, in which HRIAs inform FPIC processes, and FPIC processes legitimize, shape and give effect to HRIAs. It probes the implications FPIC has for the scope, timing, process and content of HRIA and associated challenges and opportunities, including the potential of HRIA to further the realization of FPIC.

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