The taxonomy’s two variables

The CESCR’s provisions on participation related to ESC rights show a pattern of interpretation, which distinguishes, identifies, and classifies key notions applied by the treaty body. These notions can be arranged using a taxonomy, or model, featuring two variables:

  • • The first variable ranks, in hierarchical order, the scope of the obligation put on governments (to secure FPIC, to consult, or to involve).
  • • The second variable denotes the sphere of influence, either at the more general policy-making level or directly in decision-making processes.

Variable One: type of participation

The left column of Table 13.1 ranks three key notions of participation in relation to ICESCR rights. These have been identified from the CESCR’s GCs, and each requires a different amount of effort by the state to meet the requirement. The vaguest words in the Committee’s terminology are ‘participation’/‘involvement’. Hence, they appear in row three of the table’s left column. The second row is somewhat more demanding and implies a state party responsibility to secure a dialogue with the target group, and consequently, this group’s right to be heard. The strongest participation right, at level one, obliges governments to seek FPIC from a target group.

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