The Local Impact Hub framework support companies in identifying and addressing negative impacts on rights-holders throughout their business operations and value chain. It’s based on the UNGPs and the notion that “human rights due diligence can be included within broader enterprise riskmanagement systems, provided that it goes beyond simply identifying and managing material risks to the company itself, to include risks to rights-holders.”
The LIH framework draws on internationally recognised human rights and other standards to support a better understanding of how companies may directly or indirectly have a negative impact on rights-holders. Negative impacts are categorised per rights-topic and sub-issue, linking groups of adverse impacts to specific rights and rights-holders, to support companies with identifying risks and adverse impacts.
Linking Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues
At a first glance the LIH framework does not follow the conventional distribution across Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) impacts. From an ESG perspective, the LIH framework focusses mostly on issues in the social domain. A closer look shows that LIH framework does include environmental and governance impacts and links it with impacts on rights holders. Thus allowing for a more holistic approach to negative impacts on rights-holders crosscutting all ESG issues. Companies will benefit from this approach since it automatically puts people and planet at the centre of their due diligence in line with the UNGPs and OECD guidelines.
People and planet at the centre
Rights-holders are individuals or groups that have rights as elaborated in international recognised human rights treaties. Companies can impact virtually all human rights; as such, all internationally recognised human rights are envisaged by the corporate responsibility to respect. According to the UNGPs companies are required to consider, at minimum, the rights expressed in the International Bill of Human Rights (consisting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) and the International Labour Organization’s eight core conventions outlined in the Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (addressing non-discrimination, bonded and forced labour, child labour, and freedom of association). Depending on the circumstances companies may need to consider additional standards as relevant in the particular context or when dealing with vulnerable groups, such as women, children, indigenous peoples and others.
Practical examples are labour rights-holders, such as employees, contractors and subcontractors, or day labourers who aren’t allowed to unionise. Environmental rights-holders could be local communities whose water supply, access or quality is impacted or farmers with impacted lands. While civil rights-holders could be for example victims of private security forces or citizens affected by corruption.
Companies are supported to identify the rights-holders and (affected) stakeholders by having a clear understanding of the rights and rights-holders that are at risk or adversely impacted. In turn, companies can uplift their stakeholder engagement by including the insights of the rights-holders and (affected) stakeholders when developing measures to prevent, mitigate or remedy the adverse impact.
Building on what works
The LIH framework builds on the Human Rights Risk Assessment Standard by the Coalition for Human Rights in Development. The Standard is used in the context of development finance and aimed towards financial institutions. It is developed over a two-year period through consultations with relevant experts in human rights, development, and impact assessment. The HuRRA Standard has undergone expert review and adapted to be applicable for all sectors; becoming the LIH framework.