Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - King hails progress on disability rights

King hails progress on disability rights

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The audience at Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich Exhibition Centre waits for a speech by Prime Minister Hun Sen as part of the Day of Persons with Disabilities in 2013. Heng Chivoan

King hails progress on disability rights

King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Monday by celebrating the progress made in Cambodia on disability rights.

December 3 was the 36th anniversary of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, while Cambodia also marked the 20th anniversary of the Cambodian Day for People with Disabilities.

To commemorate the occasion, King Norodom Sihamoni issued a statement promoting tolerance and understanding among all people, while also celebrating the advances Cambodia had made in supporting those with disabilities.

“This annual event aims to encourage every Cambodian person not to discriminate against anyone with a disability, as well as promote tolerance of everyone regardless of colour, social status, or political tendency."

“I am happy to see how actions by both state and private institutions have allowed those with disabilities to take part in all sectors of Cambodian society, including politics,” the statement said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a four-page statement of his own on Monday, detailing the achievements of his government on this issue, as well as the efforts made to continue to improve the rights and opportunities of people with disabilities.

The prime minister’s statement cited 2,839 people with disabilities who have been hired across 40 state institutions throughout 2018, while more than 60,000 students with disabilities are currently enrolled in educational institutions across Cambodia – from kindergarten to university level.

He also said that 28,000 people had received physical rehabilitation services, while 363 with disabilities had received vocational training this year. There are also a reported 70 NGOs currently working with people with disabilities in Cambodia.

“The government is very motivated to remove obstacles from people with disabilities and give them the opportunities to succeed. We aim to create an atmosphere in which people with disabilities are appreciated, and where the use of bad and insulting words against them is not tolerated,” he said.

Based on 2013 figures released by the Ministry of Planning, there are a reported 500,000 people living with disabilities in Cambodia – though the actual number is likely higher as statistics remain unreliable.

Secretary-General of Disability Action Council, Em Chan Makara, said the organisation was hosting an event this Thursday to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, featuring more than 3,000 participants, most of whom have disabilities.

He said there had been a lot of improvement in eliminating disability discrimination since 2009 when Cambodia officially ratified the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and consequently created the Law on the Protection and the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“Before the law was adopted, people with disabilities were ignored and society did not value them. We used to hear the mocking words referring to people with disabilities. They felt discriminated against and unvalued by society. Now, we are hearing these words less and less,” he said.

Em Chan Makara also highlighted that employment of people with disabilities across the private and public sectors had almost met the two per cent target set by the government. As of this year, 1.93 per cent of Cambodia’s workforce is made up of people with disabilities.

MOST VIEWED

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • 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