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NGOs call for more monitoring of efforts to help the disabled

NGOs call for more monitoring of efforts to help the disabled

In statement during meeting of donors and officials, NGOs argue that a failure to monitor such progress could hurt MDG effort

 ACTIONS Needed

  • Implement the currently signed UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by 2010
  • Promote education for children with disabilities to ensure that 100 percent of them are able to attend primary education by 2010
  • Collect statistical data about children with disabilities out of and in schools by 2010
  • Implement the Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of People with Disabilities by 2010
  • Promote the implementation of the National Plan of Action for Persons with Disabilities including Landmine and ERW survivors by 2010
  • Implement the national survey on disabilities by 2010
  • Promote disability-related adjustment and implementation of sector policies for education, health and employment by 2010

THE NGO community argued on Tuesday that the failure to address the needs of disabled Cambodians would prevent the Kingdom from meeting its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly those pertaining to education, poverty, and demining and victim assistance.

Estimates of the number of disabled people in Cambodia vary widely, according to data provided by the NGO Committee for the Monitoring of Cambodia Development Cooperation Forum Indicators (NC). While the government's official estimate is 4 percent, the United Nations estimates that between 7 and 10 percent of Cambodians are disabled. The Asian Development Bank estimates that 15 percent of Cambodians are disabled.

At the 14th Government Donor Coordinating Committee meeting, which brought together government officials and representatives from NGOs and donor countries, the NC pressed for the establishment of  a "joint monitoring indicator" (JMI) to assess the government's progress in assisting disabled Cambodians, noting that this group must cope with "limited access to education or medical care, and employment". Current efforts to measure such progress are lacking, the NC said in a prepared statement.

"We need a specific JMI to measure the progress and promotion of people with disabilities in Cambodia," said Ken Ratha, project manager for Handicap International, in an interview with the Post. "Without the proposed JMI, Cambodia will fall short of its MDGs."

Kem Sokha, president of the Human Rights Party, said, "It's necessary to have a law that promotes both the dignity and the political, social and economic rights of disabled people."

Kham Piseth, program manager of the Cambodian Disabled People's Organisation, echoed this call for a law supporting disabled people, calling the lack of such a law one of the "main impediments" - along with discrimination - facing the disabled.

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