KRATIE: Secretary of State for the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth (MoSVY) and Secretary-General of the Disability Action Council (DAC), Em Chan Makara, has expressed his supports for further investment in suitable careers for persons with disabilities in the tourism sector, saying that this will help to increase job opportunities for persons with disabilities and participate in fulfilling government policies.
Speaking at the seminar on "Reducing poverty among persons with disabilities by promoting employment growth in the tourism sector" held on Thursday morning, 15 September, in Kratie province, Secretary of State Em Chan Makara said that the tourism sector in Cambodia has great potential and contributes significantly to the development of the country.
Investing in more careers for persons with disabilities in the tourism sector is an important factor in promoting job growth and opportunities for persons with disabilities in Cambodia. These include jobs like being a business owner, hotel owner, running guesthouses, restaurants, entertainment venues, and so on.
"In the past as well as now, the Royal Government of Cambodia, headed by Prime Minister Hun Sen, has always encouraged the participation of the private sector, factories, enterprises and all institutions in providing employment opportunities to persons with disabilities," added the MoSVY Secretary of State.
"Voluntary implementation awakens obligations set out in the Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and supports the integration of persons with disabilities by incorporating disability issues into their activities and creating opportunities for persons with disabilities, with integration at the maximum level."
He further stated that all ministries, public institutions and the private sector should be aware of the employment rates of persons with disabilities. Currently, the employment rate for persons with disabilities at ministries and public institutions is 2%, while it is 1% in the private sector.
The Secretary of State of the Ministry of Tourism and Chairman of the Disability Action Team of the Ministry of Tourism, Hor Sarun, has said that the ministry previously issued a guideline on participating in the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities, including encouraging beer garden restaurant owners to offer more opportunities for persons with disabilities to come and sing, perform or hold art shows at their venues.
In addition, he said that the ministry also urges the Department of Tourism to promote this work further by reporting to the Board of Governors of the Ministry of Tourism to prepare a certificate of encouragement to owners of tourism business establishments that contribute to reducing poverty among persons with disabilities, through offering more opportunities of employment and suitable careers.
He said, "The Ministry of Tourism has tried to follow the guidelines of the Royal Government on the rate and procedure for the recruitment of persons with disabilities who have the qualifications and ability to fulfill the functions, roles and responsibilities [under certain jobs], according to the 2% employment rate in civil servant roles, and striving to encourage private sector tourism businesses with 100 or more workers [to hire] persons with disabilities who have the qualifications and ability to fulfill the functions, roles and responsibilities in the [position offered] while meeting the required rate of 1% of the total number of workers.”
Kratie Deputy Governor, Tuy Bun Sereyroth Moni, has said he supports the attention paid to persons with disabilities, creating jobs and providing them with all kinds of facilities, in order to reduce poverty and improve living standards.
He urged all tourism service businesses in Kratie to be obliged to provide employment opportunities to persons with disabilities without discrimination, based on their knowledge, skills and abilities.
The DAC Secretary-General, Em Chan Makara, also observed that although Cambodia has made some strides in the field of disability welfare, persons with disabilities still face many obstacles that need to be addressed, such as a lack appropriate employment coordination, barriers related to social behaviors, discrimination and stigma against persons with disabilities and a limited acceptance of the knowledge and professional skills of persons with disabilities in society.
He asked the owners and managers of hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, karaoke places, entertainment centers, tourism communities and all stakeholders in the tourism sector to take care in arranging comfort and accessible facilities for persons with disabilities, the elderly, and pregnant women, as well as for those who have young children. These include creating disabled parking spaces, ramps and accessible toilets at hotels, restaurants and tourist services. Such facilities are not only convenient for persons with disabilities but can also facilitate the transportation of equipment for business owners.
"Do not think that all persons with disabilities are poor, some persons with disabilities also have enough to eat and live in guesthouses, hotels and modern restaurants like everyone else," he stressed.
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