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

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group

  • No more Africa travel ban but new rules for arrivals

    The Ministry of Health has decided to lift the ban on travellers from or who have travelled through 10 African countries and instead issued a set of standard operating procedures to manage passenger arrivals at Cambodia’s international airports. The 10 African countries are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho,