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(Potential) human rights impacts can stem from your business’ own operations or be linked to the manufacturing of its products or services, or their use throughout the value chain. To obtain an overview, try to generate a simple map of your main business activities and relationships from raw materials, manufacturing and logistics through to delivery of the product or service to the customer (and not forgetting returns or recycling if that is part of your business).
Then based on your knowledge from step 1, think through which groups of people could be affected along this simplified value chain, and how their rights could be impacted. Check H&S’ sample overview of potential impacts below as inspiration for how to proceed.
It is helpful to make explicit who the individuals and groups are who may face a higher risk of being (negatively) affected by your business. For example, they may have special requirements, or are likely to struggle to make their needs known, or are traditionally excluded in society. You can use H&S’ overview below as a starting point.
Your initial impact map will be imperfect and you will identify areas where you need further information. This is simply a starting point and you will refine your overview during the following steps.
Those reports and databases have not been designed for a business audience, so you have to translate the information back to your specific business activities and relationships and how they could impact people. For example, if governmental authorities systemically discriminate against women or a minority it is very likely these groups are exposed to higher risks at the workplace or as part of local communities affected by a new production plant or an investment project in this particular country.
One fine body…