The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation on Monday held an inter-ministerial meeting to discuss how to better identify people with disabilities in Cambodia.
Secretary of state Nhek Vannara told The Post that the meeting was the third of its kind aimed at gathering input from relevant ministries.
“As a result, the inter-ministerial group has provided a lot of input and we will prepare a final report to implement the plans we have developed. This work is not only that of the Ministry of Social Affairs alone,” he said.
Vannara said identifying people with disabilities will benefit the nation as a whole and issuing licences to those with disabilities will result in benefits from the public and the private sectors.
“We will issue cards for benefits based on disability type and income level. Public transportation will be provided free of charge, including public health check-ups and other services,” he said.
According to Vannara, the government has classified people with disabilities into three categories – severe, medium and mild. Benefits will be provided to disabled people according to the category.
Cheat Sokha, who is wheelchair-bound, told The Post on Monday that some officials are not familiar with people with intellectual disabilities and just identify people with physical disabilities.
She said if she and other people with disabilities get a state identification card, then benefits will be available and people will feel more confident.
“People with disabilities often don’t receive the things that meet their needs,” Sokha said.
Hands of Hope Community (HHC) executive director Chan Sarin told The Post on Monday that identifying people with disabilities would make it easier to classify them into different conditions.
“The identification of people with disabilities depends on each country. Some countries have four categories, some have six.
“In the past, we identified disabilities at the severe level for those who are unable to work. This means that the benefits to people with severe disabilities were much greater than those with mild disabilities,” Sarin said.
He said that based on his research, more than 10 per cent of the population has some form of disability.