Human rights impact assessments and the politics of evidence in economic policymaking

The Guiding Principles on Human Rights Impact Assessments of Economic Reforms envision a policymaking process based on sound empirical evidence, so that the proportionality and legitimacy of reforms can be ‘properly’ assessed. Implicit in this vision is that methodological tools from economics should be drawn on, and adapted, to project or assess human rights impact. This article argues that biases inherent to these tools must be fully understood and addressed in order to meaningfully assess the human rights impacts of economic policy choices.