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

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon