Checklist for documenting corporate human rights impacts

Publish Date: 
Thursday, April 6, 2017

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) and the ESCR-Net Corporate Accountability Working Group, in consultation with ESCR-Net members and a wider set of organizations and grassroots groups in many regions, developed a documentation checklist. The checklist has been taken up and applied in many different contexts so far, and examples of this are below.  

The checklist is available via the Community Action Platform here in 10 languages. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and ESCR-Net encourage tailoring of its use depending on the context to ensure the most effective documentation and outcomes possible. While every case is a learning experience for all involved, it is a useful tool not only to document under-reported situations, but also to build alliances and identify patterns of corporate abuse for advocacy with international institutions and the media. 


  • BHRRC's East Africa Representative Joe Kibugu has worked with local organizations in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to document concerns relating to agribusinesses, mining and oil exploration activities. Tanzanian NGO Haki Madini shares the checklist via its website in English and Swahili here. Publicly documented cases in Kenya include the impacts of salt companies on communities in Malindi and impacts of Dominion Farms’ project in Yala Swamp. Other ongoing cases relate to agribusiness in central Kenya, Geothermal projects in the Rift Valley (Kenya) and oil exploration in Uganda’s Albertine region.
  • In Myanmar, BHRRC worked with EarthRights International and Thilawa Social Development Group in interviewing 16 residents of the relocation site for Phase I of the Thilawa Special Economic Zone and documenting their concerns about the relocation process and outcomes. The interviewees chose to remain anonymous.
  • In Mexico, over 100 NGOs and social movements documented more than 80 cases of corporate abuse across the mining, energy, oil & gas, agribusiness, construction and other sectors. These cases identified clear trends in the nature of corporate abuse and framed recommendations that were submitted to the UN Working Group on Business & Human Rights. Trends across the cases included complicity between government and corporate actors, structural reforms (e.g. in areas of energy and labor) that weaken human rights protections, lack of free prior and informed consent, barriers to justice, and intimidation of rights defenders.
  • In Guatemala, communities and NGOs documented 10 cases of the harmful impacts of dam building for indigenous communities. These were presented at a thematic hearing before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission on March 20. Using these cases as evidence, the report provides recommendations for hydropower companies regarding indigenous rights and human rights defenders.

Please visit the documentation checklist here

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