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Integrating human rights into environmental, social and health impact assessments


A new Guide offering practical advice on how human rights can be integrated into environmental, social and health impact assessments (ESHIAs) for oil and gas sector projects has been launched.

Designed for industry ESHIA practitioners and consulting firms, the Guide is the outcome of a collaborative effort by impact assessment experts from global oil and gas companies brought together by IPIECA and human rights practitioners from the Danish Institute for Human Rights. Working together, they have attempted to bridge the gaps in terminology, processes and approaches between the ESHIA and human rights impact assessment communities.

In addition to providing a brief introduction to human rights, the Guide explains why it is important for the sector to consider the potential human rights impacts of its projects and activities. It has three overarching objectives:

  • foster the inclusion and, wherever appropriate, the integration of human rights into ESHIAs conducted for projects undertaken by the oil and gas industry
  • provide human rights insights on the key process steps in international standard ESHIAs, and
  • provide a new practical reference point in an evolving field of assessing human rights impacts.

Welcoming the Guide’s launch, Brian Sullivan, IPIECA’s Executive Director, says:

'Our industry operates in complex environments where human rights issues are a central concern. It is imperative that we conduct business in a responsible way. The oil and gas industry is committed to promoting respect for human rights in our areas of operation. This means carefully managing issues such as workforce health, safety and welfare, and the potential impacts of the industry’s activities on local communities. In this respect, the Guide is an important, practical addition to the industry’s human rights efforts and activities.'

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