Human Rights Assessement

Practitioner’s guide for the tourism industry

To meet their responsibility to respect human rights as per the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, companies must proactively practise human rights due diligence and assess their impacts on people. A number of companies in the tourism sector have tested and used approaches to human rights impact assessments (HRIA) individually (e.g. human rights impact assessments by Kuoni) or in cooperation with others (e.g. sector-wide impact assessment in Myanmar).

So far, there is no agreed upon standard methodology for conducting such assessments. Human rights as a subject area do not allow for the same level of standardisation as in the environmental sphere because of the qualitative nature of human rights impacts and the high dependency on the specific local context. That said, to ensure that the data collected in the context of human rights impact assessments is comparable and the collection process follows accepted quality criteria, this guide aims to:

  • provide guidance on data collection for practitioners conducting or evaluating human rights impact assessments in tourism destinations (e.g. companies, consultancies and NGOs); and
  •  support the collection of comparable data in the context of company-led human rights impact assessments.

Given the context-specific nature of human rights impacts, the scope of this guide is limited to a typical human rights assessment in a tourism destination with beach hotels and excursions. It is not a guide on how to conduct a full HRIA. It provides guidance on how to determine the assessment destination and prepare the in-country data collection process. This is followed by an overview of criteria for the collection of data in the context of human rights impact assessments covering the following impact areas:

  • Employee rights and employee protection (especially for vulnerable groups)
  • Security / Safety of personnel and tourists
  • Customer protection (e.g. privacy)
  • Impacts of suppliers, contractors and other business partners
  • Women’s and children’s rights and protection
  • Community impacts and engagement
  • Anti-corruption

Please note that the following information was compiled based on practical experience, expert resources and consultations with practitioners in the field of human rights impact assessments. It is aimed at HRIA practitioners and is not an academic study. It is not aligned with standards of scientific research.

The guide is free to be used by any practitioner in tourism companies, service providers, non governmental organizations or public entities. The latest version can be viewed and downloaded as a PDF.

Practitioners Guide_Human Rights Assessments in Tourism.