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Oxfam paper suggests fusing community & company-led human rights impact assessments

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22 July 2015

Blog: "Can communities and businesses limit human rights infringements by working together? Yes, here’s how"

Author: Irit Tamir, Oxfam America

Businesses with projects that impact vulnerable communities are starting to use HRIAs to manage risks, thanks to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. However, as businesses assess the potential impact of their projects, they often fail to meaningfully engage with the very people whose rights they are at risk of violating. Rather, they rely heavily on desk research or interview only government officials and international nongovernmental organizations...Community-led HRIAs...have a better sense of the impact business investments are having on them..[A] third way may be possible: HRIAs conducted in a jointly managed process or, alternatively, in parallel processes with companies and communities informing one another of their HRIAs. Though implementation challenges remain, fusing community- and company-led HRIA methodologies or conducting parallel processes could enable companies to minimize human rights infringements experienced by local communities, while internalizing the lessons into their organization for use in future operations.

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22 July 2015

Full paper: "Community voice in human rights impact assessments"

Author: Oxfam America

Human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) are intended to minimize human rights risks, lessen adverse impacts, and strengthen positive outcomes of business investments on affected populations. For an HRIA to fulfill this purpose, it must consider the perspectives of everyone affected by a company’s operations, project, products, or services. But all too often, companies ignore this critical input, instead opting for top-down tools that fail to capture communities’ assertions. In doing so, they forfeit the opportunity to minimize human rights violations and costly conflicts. [Refers to Aguas Argentinas (now Agua y Saneamientos Argentinos - AySA), Corriente Resources,m Goldcorp, Kuoni, Marshalls, Meridian Gold, Minera Yanacocha (joint venture Newmont & Compañía de Minas Buenaventura), Nestlé, Philip Morris International, Total, TVI (Toronto Ventures Incorporated) Pacific, Vale]

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