Database Methodology

Selecting reports

Each report included in the Database is individually reviewed and analyzed prior to inclusion. We use a strict methodology to select reports for the B-HRD Database. All reports must be published by organizations or authors that employ a credible methodology for documenting human rights abuses. The reports must be the result of first-hand, on-site investigation and must use human rights methodology to describe a discernible business impact on human rights. The Database includes the research methodology used for specific reports.For more information on selection criteria, click here.

Human Rights Methodology

A human rights methodology uses human rights law—as codified in international treaties and conventions—to analyze and assess business activity. This methodology frames a human rights abuse as it relates to international human rights law, rather than other sources of law or ethics. It generally requires information gathering about a human rights problem and draws conclusions of fact from the information gathered (fact-finding). All reports found in the B-HRD Database use a human rights methodology with reference to key international human rights sources and based on first-hand investigations.

The B-HRD Human Rights Framework provides a conceptual basis for understanding and categorizing the full spectrum of human rights directly and indirectly affected by businesses across industries and regions. The B-HRD Framework also identifies groups particularly affected by business activity, as well as the accountability mechanisms pursued to seek justice. The Framework was designed using the provisions and authoritative interpretations of the following instruments:

"Situations" in the Database

Each report in the database has an associated worksheet that provides users with the basic information of the report (title, author, date of publication, etc.), a link to the report in the languages in which it is available, a general summary or synopsis of the report, and a more detailed explanation of the different rights, regions, and groups affected. These explanations of the different impacts are disaggregated by specific “situations.” A “situation” in this context is the way we break down reports that might address human rights impacts on several different groups, rights, or geographic regions.For example, a report detailing human rights abuses in the apparel sector in two different countries will be broken down into two situations—one for each country.


Koggala fishermen in Sri Lanka.

© 2008 Jeremie Labbe