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Em Chan Makara: Ministry of Culture's Encouragement to PWDs Helps Them Live Independently

PHNOM PENH: The Secretary of State of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation and Secretary-General of Disability Action Council, Em Chan Makara, has praised the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, for playing an important role in improving the living conditions of persons with disabilities in Cambodia.

Speaking at a seminar on the dissemination of laws and regulations related to disability at the Ministry of Culture on Wednesday morning, 23 November, Secretary of State Em Chan Makara, representing the Minister of Social Affairs, Vong Sauth, said that the encouragement of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts for persons with disabilities in Cambodia contributes to helping persons with disabilities live independently.

He said that the organization of this workshop shows the attention the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, especially the Ministry’s working group of persons with disabilities, pays to the implementation of the National Disability Strategic Plan 2019-2023.

He added that persons with disabilities face many different obstacles in society, including discrimination and stigma. Persons with disabilities face these negative attitudes in all aspects of life, including in culture and fine arts.

"If we can change the mindset of people who believe that ‘disability leads to unhappiness,’ and stop the association of negative perceptions with persons with disabilities, which creates stigma, discrimination and denial, then culture and the fine arts can really contribute to making the dreams of persons with disabilities come true, making achieving [equal] rights a reality," said Secretary of State Em Chan Makara.

In this regard, he outlined a number of factors that can contribute to addressing negative perceptions about disability, including raising disability awareness in the field of culture and fine arts, among artists, poets, producers, owners of radio and television stations, and more, as well as promoting the honor and dignity of persons with disabilities, and providing more opportunities in the field of culture and fine arts. In particular, the Secretary of State promoted the display of artwork, handicrafts and other products made by persons with disabilities at various ceremonies of culture and fine arts.

The Royal Government of Cambodia has set out a number of strategies to create opportunities for equal participation in social activities, including in the fields of culture, arts, religion, sports, recreation, and more, which will help to ensure the participation of persons with disabilities in all facets of society.

Secretary of State Em Chan Makara further pushed for the mobilization of supplies and materials in the field of arts and culture for persons with disabilities. This includes organizing art groups and facilitating access for persons with disabilities to participate in cultural arts programs in television, film, theater, and other cultural activities, and creating arts programs and cultural activities to show the potential and skills of persons with disabilities.

The Secretary of State also promotes the development of intellectual, artistic, creative, and sports talents among persons with disabilities, and the development of policies to reduce the costs of transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment services to provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to manage leisure and tourism activities on their own.

"Mobilizing resources to ensure the supply of cultural arts materials to persons with disabilities who have access to them is an indispensable point," said Secretary of State Em Chan Makara. "Artistic grouping and facilitation for persons with disabilities to participate in arts and culture programs on television, film, theater, and other cultural activities is also included in the disability priority plan."

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