Affirmative action for public participation?
Jul 14, 2008

I am currently working on a paper looking at access rights and people living in poverty. I have, however, only located one “affirmative” law or code, US Executive Order 12898, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations,” which requires special efforts including improving public participation, environmental law enforcement, and data collection for low-income and minority communities. (Ron Bass has this useful - if a bit old - summary of the law and related codes.) I have not, however, found equivalent laws which require governments to meet the needs of poor or minority communities in countries other than the U.S.

My question for access advocates is: Do any of your countries, or state/province-level governments have such laws? If so, have they been successful? Have they held up in courts? What “extra” efforts do they require of governments?

[These kinds of topics will be featured in future discussion groups on this website, as well as on the public blog. We look forward to gathering the collected wisdom of access practitioners worldwide in your responses.]