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PM Asks Authorities to Strengthen Mechanisms to Prevent Discrimination of PWDs

PHNOM PENH: Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested all relevant local authorities to strengthen coordination mechanisms to prevent discrimination and insults to persons with disabilities.

In a message, dated 29 November 2022, released on the occasion of the 24th Day of Persons with Disabilities in Cambodia, and the 40th International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December 2022, the Honorary Chairman of the Disability Action Council, Prime Minister Hun Sen, promoted the participation of persons with disabilities in public life, political life, social activities, culture, arts, religion, sports, recreation, and more. He pushed for the equal provision of services to persons with disabilities with gender equality in mind, hence, with equal provision of services for women and girls with disabilities.

The Prime Minister also urged relevant local authorities to strengthen mechanisms to prevent discrimination or insults made to persons with disabilities.

The Law on the “Protection of Persons with Disabilities and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" was passed on 2 July 1999, with the aim of protecting and promoting persons with disabilities in the Kingdom of Cambodia. The situation of persons with disabilities garnered a lot of attention after this law was enacted.

Addressing the Policy Discussion on "Moving Forward to Ensure a Sustainable Society through the Effective Implementation of the National Disability Strategic Plan" on Wednesday morning, 30 November 2022, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Social Affairs Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, Em Chan Makara, said that since the Royal Government passed laws and sub-decrees on the protection of persons with disabilities, he has observed that persons with disabilities in Cambodia have been significantly promoted and supported in society.

He also recalled the situation of persons with disabilities in society before the law and sub-decree were passed. Back then, persons with disabilities faced heavy stigma and discrimination, however, today, persons with disabilities are far more protected and promoted by the Royal Government.

"In the past, we had beggars with disabilities on the streets, and they were rarely given attention before the law came into force,” he said. “Even while begging for rice in front of people’s homes, people would close the door on them and then throw rice to expel misfortunes (discriminatory superstitious belief). Comparing [the situation of] persons with disabilities and people who do not have disabilities, when weddings were organized, they will not hire persons with disabilities to perform, but now they are starting to promote persons with disabilities more, not only in general programs, but also to perform on stage, and some embassies also provide opportunities for persons with disabilities.”

It should be noted that the 24th Cambodia Day of Persons with Disabilities and the 40th International Day of Persons with Disabilities will be held on 3 December 2022 under the theme "All disabilities cannot be determined by sight.”

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