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.
The TAI assessments in Northern India were conceptualized as Research for Action and not just plain academic research. As planned, the action would take place once the research findings and assessments are completed. However, we are happy to share this story on how action seems to have started before the assessments are completed!
From June 18 to 21, 2008, the 8th CIVICUS World Assembly gathered over 900 civil society delegates around the world, from almost 120 countries. The conference focused on three crucial issues: people, participation and power.
Through various workshops, plenaries, exchanges of experiences and interaction with civil society organizations in Glasgow and around in Scotland, participants were able to share experiences, learning and challenges, and develop strategies for a fairer world.”
Watch the Voice and Choice Launch at the World Resources Institute http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5911398965998013302
Aarhus Clearinghouse - United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) public participation resource directory - http://aarhusclearinghouse.unece.org/resources.cfm?c=1000006
Danish Development Research Network - http://www.ddrn.dk/index.php?side_id=125