Human Rights Impacts:

There is a difference between having rights and enjoying those rights. In most countries there is still a big gap between human rights in theory and in practice; between the commitments made by a state and the actual ability of individuals, groups and communities in a country to enjoy these rights. Moreover, laws and policies (or the lack of it), and the way they are implemented (or not) do have an impact on the human rights of people. 

A Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) analyses the impacts of laws and policies on human rights of people, and measures the gap between the state obligations to ensure human rights and the abliity of the peoiple to enjoy the rights. HRIA provides an entry point for the accountability of human rights policies and practices and facilitates democratic monitoring. It provides (intergovernmental) organisations, governments and companies with instruments to better focus their human rights efforts; and it can be used as an analytical and lobbying tool by activists and NGOs.

An impact assessment can be done before the activity takes place, or after the activity has taken place. 


In recent years, several tools or instruments have been developed that provide step by step methods to conduct a human rights impact assessments on various topics. The first HRIA instrument developed by Aim for human rights (the predecessor of Rights4Change) was HeRWAI (the Health Rights of Women Assessment Instrument) in 2006. This instrument has been used globally and is available in several languages. An effect measurement was carried out in 2010 and was used for redrafting the tool. Since then, two other instruments have been developed with a various partner organizations: the Human Rights Assessment Instrument on Domestic Violence (DOVA) and the RighT Guide, a tool to assess the human rights impact of anti-trafficking laws and policies.A Human Rights Impact Assessme

Currently, Rights4Change is working with this assessment tools, but we are also interested in (co-)developing new tools, or support others to do so.

To learn more about the current tools follow:

Health Rights of Women - Assessment Instrument

Anti trafficking measures - Assessment Instrument

Domestic Violence- Assessment Instrument


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