Human Rights Due Diligence

In recent years, a rich dialogue has emerged around the role that businesses play in shaping our environment, our well-being, and our security. Consumers, shareholders, and investors increasingly demand that enterprises do more to minimize harms and maximize social dividends – not only in times of economic expansion, but also as a response to present and future crises.   Initial steps in the Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) process include identifying human rights risks and deciding which risks to prioritize for action.   The Human Rights Self-Assessment Training Tool is designed to deepen your understanding of how to identify and prioritize human rights risks. It is a signature component of UNDP’s HRDD Training Facilitation Guide, available on UNDP’s website.

How to use this tool

This HRSA Training Tool helps you to develop a human rights risk profile. Using the tool, you will define the “severity” and “likelihood” of relevance to your industry. The tool produces heat maps for each risk to help you identify areas for priority action. Alongside the heat map, and for reporting and other purposes, you are provided a reference to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and target indicator linked to the specific risk.

Scale, scope and irremediability


The severity of a risk will be calculated from the average of the values you assign to the scale, scope and irremediability of each risk in the tool.  


After inputting values under the three headings above, a severity score is assigned.


You will then define the likelihood value weighing the probability that the risk could lead to an adverse impact.


After calculating the severity score and inputting a likelihood score, you will then have two plot points for the purposes of a heat map.

Key points

Under international human rights law, there is no hierarchy of human rights. In other words, no human right is recognized as more important than another. However, one can prioritize action on one human rights risk over another in the context of business operations, given the constraints of time and material resources. 


Companies should address the most severe human rights abuses first. However, the presence of high priority, severe human rights impacts does not mean that low severity impacts should remain unaddressed. Some low priority risks will be relatively easy to mitigate or require few additional resources.

Want to know more about us?

If you want to know more about UNDP’s Human Rights Due Diligence training, or other Business and Human Rights-related tools and activities UNDP offers, please contact us.