The Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation (CDPO) has announced plans to compile data on disabled people in the Kingdom.
The project is being carried out by the CDPO and 13 organisations. It is supported by the German Society for International Cooperation to collect data on mental and physical abilities.
A total of 4,304 disabled people were interviewed in the capital and in Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu, Tbong Khmum, Kampot, Kratie, Battambang and Pailin provinces, a CDPO press release said.
Speaking at a workshop on Wednesday, CDPO executive director Ngin Saorath said the data collected would be used as a tool to seek support from local authorities, relevant ministries, institutions and stakeholders to help resolve issues that disabled people continued to face.
These challenges include poverty, lack of access to services and education.
He said the data would be compiled into an online database to help pinpoint the location of disabled people on maps via GPS.
The goal is to prioritise needs for disabled people who can then receive proper services and help officials intervene to assist them in the event of a disaster.
“We found that of the more than 4,000 disabled people interviewed, over 60 per cent are living under the poverty line, they must travel 50 per cent further to receive basic services and more than 60 per cent of disabled children are unable to attend school,” Saorath said.
Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation secretary of state Sem Sokha said the data that had already been collected had helped it understand the challenges faced by disabled people.
She said the information would also be distributed to lower levels of the government so that it is properly disseminated and utilised.
According to the Demography and Health Survey in Cambodia 2014, 10 per cent of the Cambodian population face “a disturbance to their daily life or activities”, making them disabled.
However, Sokha said the Kingdom has around 310,000 disabled people.
She said the government had already approved policies to benefit more than 10,000 impoverished and disabled people throughout the country which would allow them to be gainfully employed.
“When we amend the Law on the Promotion of Disabled Persons in an upcoming sub-decree, we will solicit input and discuss further schemes for disabled persons,” Sokha said.
Mean Vibol Ratanak, 29, a disabled person, told The Post on Wednesday that the lack of education and social support in the country means they faced poverty among other challenges.
He expected the data to be used to inform relevant parties clearly regarding the geographic location and living standards of disabled people.
“I would like the government and relevant partners to enforce laws and policies related to disabled people. This will help ensure our full participation in society and help us receive basic services and education,” said Ratanak.