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Human Rights Impact Assessments of Large-Scale Foreign Investments

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), the Sciences Po Law School Clinic, and the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute recently published an outcome document of a one-day roundtable focused on the opportunities and challenges presented by human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of large-scale foreign investments. The roundtable, which was held in April 2014 at Columbia University, provided an opportunity for collaborative reflection on the development of HRIAs, as well as on ways to enhance HRIAs as a framework and tool for both human rights advocacy and human rights risk management in respect of foreign investments.

By sharing the outcomes of the roundtable, this document aims to support HRIA practitioners, company officials, civil society representatives, and other stakeholders focused on human rights and foreign investment in further reflection on the objectives and methods of HRIAs. The roundtable examined the various practices comprising HRIAs, and the discussion underscored that many of the challenges associated with carrying out an HRIA are common to multiple stakeholders, albeit borne out in different ways. This outcome document describes some of the primary ways in which HRIAs are undertaken and outlines the salient issues and key challenges that practitioners have identified.

CCSI and the Sciences Po Law School Clinic are continuing to follow up on this roundtable in collaboration with the Danish Institute for Human Rights. For more information, please contact us at ccsi@law.columbia.edu

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