The Youth Resource Development Programme (YRDP) and a group of youths have asked the government to include students and monks in the government’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF) so they can receive social protection services for free such as health examinations and treatment.
The proposal was made in the capital on Sunday at a youth forum on labour market opportunities for Cambodian youths in the context of Covid-19 and the country’s withdrawal from the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme.
More than 100 youths participated in the meeting.
YRDP executive director Chan Ramy said that the NSSF is part of the government’s 10-year social protection policy. As of now, it only covers employees.
“Therefore we are educating young people about the NSSF and its benefits. We have discussed the topic many times before.
“We want to submit a proposal to the government asking that they consider including youths who are studying to become members of the NSSF to get free health care,” she said.
Ramy said that youths have been talking about this issue and they should receive the benefits as they need the government’s support.
Many youths have lost their jobs because of Covid-19 and the loss of the EBA scheme and they’re finding it difficult to support their studies and take care of their daily necessities, she said.
Vong Reaksa, a sophomore at Pannasastra University of Cambodia (PUC) said the government should take the issue seriously because many youths, including students and monks, regularly face health problems and could not afford hospital check-ups.
“I expect that the government will raise this proposal to discuss in its meeting. If it does not, we will go as a team and make a formal request to the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training,” he said.
Ministry spokesman Heng Sour told The Post on Sunday that the government decided to award NSSF services to workers and civil servants and those who are eligible for the Equity Fund only.
As for the youths’ request, the government will assess if it is capable of expanding the services in the future.