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 24: Human rights, international financial institutions and environmental and social due diligence: The value added of HRIA

Siobhán McInerney-Lankford


This chapter appraises calls for human rights due diligence (HRDD) in the context of international financial institutions (IFIs). It examines the assumption that implicit human rights coverage in environmental and social due diligence (ESDD) can be equated with a full and comprehensive consideration of human rights risk and impacts. Most IFIs have resisted calls for HRDD implementation, pointing to their suite of environmental and social policies, performance tools, instruments, frameworks and plans. This chapter explores the reasons for this traditional IFI position, as well as the nature and extent of the perceived gaps and inadequacies from a human rights perspective. The chapter contrasts ESDD and HRDD, identifying the key qualitative differences between traditional environmental and social policies and their accompanying due diligence instruments, compared with HRDD and the tools and frameworks that emanate directly from human rights law, such as human rights impact assessment (HRIA).

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