Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pay delay frustrates disabled community

Pay delay frustrates disabled community

Pay delay frustrates disabled community

120906_03

A disabled man who earns a living as a beggar uses a hand-pedalled bicycle to get around Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

More than one year after the government passed legislation to bring in a pension for people with disabilities living in poverty, a preliminary committee to workshop how to locate such disabled people has still not been formed, officials said yesterday.

“It is not yet effectively implemented,” Department of Welfare for Persons with Disabilities adviser Nhem Sareth told the Post yesterday.

“We still have to form a committee to identify and issue ID cards to those persons with disabilities,” he said, saying that the process to select officials to join the committee was 80 per cent complete.

In June last year, the government enacted a sub-decree to support “poor persons with disabilities”, which would entitle disabled persons living below the poverty line to between 10,000 and 20,000 riel [US$2.50 and $5] monthly stipends.

Sareth said the tardy implementation was because his department had been preoccupied with higher priority initiatives, such as an employment framework and policy for disabled people and drafting an interministerial circular on reasonable accommodation.

However, too much drafting and policy work, and not enough action was a source of disappointment among the disabled community, Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation Executive Director Ngin Saorath said.

“It is a very small amount of money promised, but it is better than nothing, and a good step to show development … but we wish for the process to be quicker. Members are always asking about this,” Saorath said.

The vast majority of disabled people living in Cambodia were unemployed and relied solely on the charity of their families and NGOs to get by.

“And for those who are disabled by being blind, they can hardly ever get support because if you are blind or have low vision, society does not care for you,” Saorath said.

Disability statistics vary substantially Saorath said, with estimations ranging from eight to 15 per cent of the Cambodian population being affected.

He said that while the government had received praise for parliament deciding to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, this decision needed to be passed through the senate to the King, and back down to parliament, which would then send the decision to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon before ratification was complete.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bridget Di Certo at [email protected]

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all