30 May 2012

Human RIghts IA and Extractive Industries - Session I, Presentation 1




Why is HRIA going to add value to companies?

What are the challenges and opportunities?


Mechanism to identify, predict and respond to a Project's potential impacts on an individual's access to human rights entitlements.

Do no harm perspective but can also look at enhancing access to HR.


How is HRIA different from SIA?

  • Individual rather than community perspective
  • Focused on universally agreed upon standards
  • Sphere of impact rather than sphere of influence
  • ...
Added Value:

  • Projects occurring challenging contexts - geographically, socially, joint venture approaches with state extractive companies
  • Opportunity to contribute to sustainable and equitable development
  • Above only happens if HR is respected
  • HRIA brings and added dimension to risk assessment and management: uses a common international standard, broadens scope of assessment; clarifies and delimits distinct roles and responsibilities; more emphasis on looking at what companies have done to ensure access to rights; reinforces international standards/guidance for management of known risks

Example 1: Potential HR impacts

  • Access to remedy - lack of project grievance mechanism
  • Right to life - loss of ASM, land take, resettlement, use of state security,
  • Prohibition against torture, cruelty - Project leads to community tension which leads to arrests and torture
  • Right not to be subject to slavery/forced labour
  • ...
Example 2: Ghana

  • National Commission undertook a study on HR and mining.
  • Helped clarify roles and responsibilities of state and company.
  • Changed internal company awareness about HR and how they might affect it.
Key challenges - So many challenges

  • Lack of business leadership and strategic commitment
  • Understanding the language and perspective and mindset of HR
  • Finding a way through the explosion in guidance IPIECA, EU developing guidance
  • Integrating HR into management processes
  • Confronting the brutal facts - lot of sensitivity and concerns about litigation and liability
  • Managing the State and Company roles
Lots of opportunities for change and move things forward that bring benefits to business and society.