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Ministry calls for support of disabled and deaf persons

Cambodia observed its 11th National Deaf Day on September 17. DISABILITY ACTION COUNCIL
Cambodia observed its 11th National Deaf Day on September 17. DISABILITY ACTION COUNCIL

Ministry calls for support of disabled and deaf persons

As Cambodia observed its 11th National Deaf Day on September 17, the social affairs ministry urged all stakeholders to continue investing in the health and welfare of people with disabilities, particularly the deaf.

To mark the occasion, the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation held an event at their headquarters, under the theme “Inclusiveness at work for deaf persons’ development”.

Around 400 individuals were present, including social affairs minister Chea Somethy, representatives from several ministries, deputy governors from Phnom Penh, provincial officials and members of various civil society organisations working with disabled individuals, according to a ministry press release.

Somethy explained that the annual gathering is crucial for reinforcing the rights and dignity of deaf individuals.

“We’re acutely aware of the challenges facing people with physical impairments, including the family members of deaf people,” he said.

The minister highlighted the government’s commitment to the issue.

“The seventh mandate, led by Prime Minister Hun Manet, has initiated the first phase of its Pentagonal Strategy to address concerns related to the deaf community,” he said.

Investing in education and skill training is essential for empowering people with disabilities to access better jobs and lead independent lives, Somethy noted. He thanked all involved parties for their ongoing attention to the National Disability Strategic Plan 2019-2023.

Em Chan Makara, ministry secretary of state and secretary-general of the Disability Action Council, said the forum demonstrated the government’s and public’s commitment to the cause.

“It underscores the care and attention from various sectors to encourage and fulfil the needs of people with special needs,” he noted.

According to the ministry’s data, 3,748 people with impairments were employed across 37 state institutions in 2022. This included 862 women and 2,260 severely disabled individuals.

Additionally, 291 private entities, ranging from banks to factories, have registered to implement the Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These private sector employers have recruited 58,839 people with physical issues, including 3,836 women.

This year marks the 66th anniversary of the UN International Deaf Day, celebrated on September 23. Under the theme “Do not leave anyone behind”, the UN seeks to highlight the deaf community as an invaluable resource that should not be overlooked.

The event aims to further the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly by fulfilling commitments outlined in the States Parties Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The occasion provides an opportunity to support the cultural diversity and identity of sign language users, both in the country and globally.


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