Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Give disabled people their pensions: NGO

Give disabled people their pensions: NGO

Give disabled people their pensions: NGO

Advocates for the disabled yesterday criticised the slow implementation of Cambodia’s six-year-old disability law and urged the government to hasten the process by starting the distribution of the monthly $5 pension that people with disabilities were promised in 2011 through a separate sub-decree.

During a forum at Phnom Penh’s Cambodiana Hotel, Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation (CDPO) executive director Ngin Saoroth said that although the government has made some strides in protecting the rights of people with disabilities, they continue to face systemic problems such as limited community rehabilitation services, financial aid and education programs.

“Our present law seems to only be on paper,” Saoroth said.

“According to the government, it has already had funding of $1.2 million per year for the pension, but how come in the last two or three years, disabled people still haven’t received the money?”

In 2009, the government enacted the Law on Protection and Promotion of Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which provides a framework for disability rights for the more than 2 million people living with a handicap in the Kingdom.

Two years later, the government issued a sub-decree that entitles seriously disabled, elderly disabled and seriously injured people living below the poverty line without full-time jobs to a 20,000 riel ($5) monthly pension.

Speaking at the forum, World Health Organization Asia-Pacific’s disability and rehabilitation team technical leader Pauline Kleinitz urged the government to “show its political will, conscience and determination” by swiftly implementing the law and increasing available services for people with disabilities.

Stronger enforcement, she said, will help increase disabled people’s access to rehabilitation services and also aid them to fully participate in society.

In response, Social Affairs Ministry Secretary of State Sem Sokha admitted that the process has been greatly hampered by financial issues, a lack of human resources and a lack of clarity in the delegation of responsibilities in lower governing bodies.

However, he said, “It is not like Saoroth said, that the law is only on paper.”

“We have done many things since the law was adopted.

This year, we will implement the pension plan in Pailin province, and we will do it in other provinces later.”

He added that his ministry, along with other relevant ministries, are working on a strategic plan and developing new mechanisms to effectively enforce the law on all governing levels.

MOST VIEWED

  • Virus tops 84 with new cases in S’ville

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday night confirmed another 31 cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the Kingdom’s total to 84 and it highest daily tally. There have been no fatalities thus far. The latest cases were found in 29 French tourists and their two Cambodian tour guides

  • Kingdom’s virus toll tops 84, Cambodians in Thailand rush home

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday night confirmed another 31 cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the Kingdom’s total to 84 and its highest daily tally. There have been no fatalities thus far. The latest cases were found in 29 French tourists and their two Cambodian tour guides

  • NBC calls for cashless payments

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has urged government ministries, financial institutions and the public to conduct cashless payments via electronic systems where possible to combat the spread of Covid-19. “To contribute to the prevention of Covid-19, the National Bank of Cambodia encourages financial institutions

  • CEO held for fraud in Siem Reap

    Over 200 individuals gathered in front of the Siem Reap Provincial Court last week to ask that Dim Suonnath, the CEO of a real estate company being held for fraud, take responsibility for compensating some 2,000 residents who invested with him. The request was denied. Suonnath responded

  • Ministry calls for home schooling

    Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Hang Chuon Naron appealed to parents of students to provide home education in a proper environment and help them obtain more learning materials. The ministry also allowed schools to take a premature vacation after several people tested positive for

  • Cross-border deal inked to maintain trade amid Covid-19

    Cambodia and Vietnam have agreed to allow cargo trailers to enter the common Bavet-Moc Bai border, located in Cambodia’ Svay Rieng province (Bavet) and Vietnam’s Tay Ninh province (Moc Bai) after movement restrictions were enforced to prevent a Covid-19 outbreak. The decision was made