The Ministry of Economy and Finance is planning a social protection week programme to improve the transparency of the Kingdom’s social security systems.

A senior official at the ministry said this year’s programme will be held with the theme “Strengthening the efficiency and transparency of the social protection system in Cambodia”. It aims to increase public awareness of the support that is available, even as several civil society organisations have called on the government to accelerate the expansion of social services to workers in the informal economy.

Social Protection Week 2023 will be disseminated through the “Social Protection in Cambodia” Facebook page from February 13-15. It will educate people about the development of the system, lay out the strategic roadmap for its development and inform people of the services that are available.

Ministry spokesman Meas Soksensan said that in addition to raising public awareness, the campaign will also serve as a national forum for consultation between all relevant institutions at all policy levels.

“The input that is gained from this discourse will assist us in developing more effective systems,” he said.

Vorn Pov, president of the Independent Democratic Association of Informal Economy (IDEA), said the campaign will reach both the beneficiaries of the system and those who administer it at all levels.

“It is very important that the government ensure that it provides comfort and a solid foundation for the lives of its people. This campaign will be a good chance for people to find out what assistance, if any, they are eligible for,” he said.

“Social assistance is paid for by the people, through their taxes. With that being said, I would like to see the government expand its scope to cover informal economic workers and the self-employed. I believe this has been enshrined in law since 2019,” he added.

Pov called on the government to expand the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to protect the Kingdom’s working population, not just those with formal employment.

“Please make sure that all workers enjoy the same privileges as others,” he concluded.