Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pay delay frustrates disabled community

Pay delay frustrates disabled community

Pay delay frustrates disabled community

120906_03

A disabled man who earns a living as a beggar uses a hand-pedalled bicycle to get around Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

More than one year after the government passed legislation to bring in a pension for people with disabilities living in poverty, a preliminary committee to workshop how to locate such disabled people has still not been formed, officials said yesterday.

“It is not yet effectively implemented,” Department of Welfare for Persons with Disabilities adviser Nhem Sareth told the Post yesterday.

“We still have to form a committee to identify and issue ID cards to those persons with disabilities,” he said, saying that the process to select officials to join the committee was 80 per cent complete.

In June last year, the government enacted a sub-decree to support “poor persons with disabilities”, which would entitle disabled persons living below the poverty line to between 10,000 and 20,000 riel [US$2.50 and $5] monthly stipends.

Sareth said the tardy implementation was because his department had been preoccupied with higher priority initiatives, such as an employment framework and policy for disabled people and drafting an interministerial circular on reasonable accommodation.

However, too much drafting and policy work, and not enough action was a source of disappointment among the disabled community, Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation Executive Director Ngin Saorath said.

“It is a very small amount of money promised, but it is better than nothing, and a good step to show development … but we wish for the process to be quicker. Members are always asking about this,” Saorath said.

The vast majority of disabled people living in Cambodia were unemployed and relied solely on the charity of their families and NGOs to get by.

“And for those who are disabled by being blind, they can hardly ever get support because if you are blind or have low vision, society does not care for you,” Saorath said.

Disability statistics vary substantially Saorath said, with estimations ranging from eight to 15 per cent of the Cambodian population being affected.

He said that while the government had received praise for parliament deciding to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, this decision needed to be passed through the senate to the King, and back down to parliament, which would then send the decision to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon before ratification was complete.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bridget Di Certo at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release