In an affirmative move for disability rights in Cambodia, the Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC) engaged with the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation (CDPO) on June 26. The meeting focused on bolstering cooperation in protecting the rights of the disabled and propagating health services for this segment nationwide.

Present at the event were Ouch Nipon, the CHRC’s head of administration and complaints, and CDPO programme manager Mak Monika. The two leaders concentrated their discussion on collaborative efforts between the entities for the benefit of disabled individuals.

Monika said the primary focus of the meeting with the CHRC was to disseminate information regarding the ASEAN Master Plan 2025 on the Integration of Persons with Disabilities. The intent was to enhance understanding of disability rights and to publicise free health services for disabled and vulnerable groups.

“CDPO seeks cooperation with CHRC and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)-Cambodia in executing our projects. The primary focus is on the distribution and mainstreaming of health services for the disabled nationwide,” she said.

Reinforcing the inclusive approach, Nipon affirmed that human rights bear a cross-sectional significance. The CHRC, in collaboration with relevant institutions, diplomats and civil society organisations (CSOs), diligently works towards preserving and enhancing human rights. She highlighted the government’s dedication to elevating disability rights through a national strategic plan and supplementary action plans.

“The CHRC heartily invites collaboration from CSOs and the CDPO to enhance human rights and the rights of disabled individuals in Cambodia,” she said.

Significant collaboration is already underway with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation working in partnership with the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) in Cambodia. Together they are providing training on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, international human rights standards, and national regulation letters related to social security for disabled persons across Cambodia.

In conjunction with local and international CSOs, the ministry has been consulting and discussing the development of the National Strategic Plan on Disability 2024-2028. The aim is to amass diverse input on the draft to guarantee inclusivity and alignment with initiatives, laws, policies and conventions concerning the rights of disabled persons. The ministry anticipates approval and launch this year of the strategic plan on December 3, coinciding with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.