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Ministry of Social Affairs Launches "Disability Identity Card"

PHNOM PENH: The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation announced the introduction of a "Disability Identity Card" for persons with disabilities under the presidency of Minister of Social Affairs Chea Somethy, UNICEF Country Director Will Parks and EU Ambassador to Cambodia Igor Driesmans at the Phnom Penh Hotel on October 30.

The Minister commended UNICEF, the EU, Cambodia’s provincial governors and Departments of Social Affairs for cooperating with the Ministry to implement the disability identification system in pursuit of universal rights for persons with disabilities.

He said that developing the social protection system is the key to achieving "equitable and inclusive family economic growth based on a sense of responsibility for the security of people's income."

He said, "The Royal Government has set a long-term vision for the development of the social protection system [to be] environmentally efficient and financially sustainable as a tool to reduce and prevent poverty and vulnerability to disasters and inequalities and to contribute to the development and protection of human resources more widely and promote economic growth.”

Chea Somethy emphasized that the Ministry of Social Affairs has been promoting disability identification programs since 2020 to develop and manage databases to a common standard with consistent information technology with the ultimate goal of improving livelihoods and access to social services.

 In order to better target programs and improve the social protection system, the government must first have accurate data so they can have a good understanding of people’s needs. The Minister affirmed that the issuance of ID cards to persons with disabilities will make it easier for them to participate in social and economic activities thereby benefiting the public and private sector in accordance with government policies.

Currently, 288,690 persons with disabilities have been identified in communes across the country, and the ministry has issued 222,148 Disability ID cards.

Chea Somethy noted that although the Ministry has made great strides in improving the welfare of Cambodia’s disabled population, many obstacles still stand in the way of the country’s vulnerable communities which must continue to be understood and resolved.

He recommended that officials of the Ministry of Social Affairs continue to cooperate with the Ministry of Planning to integrate action plans that identify those who need help. He said they should continue to cooperate with ministries, institutions, development partners and organizations related to disability work to issue Disability ID cards in a transparent and environmentally friendly manner.

He also noted the government’s quota for hiring persons with disabilities at 2% for public institutions and 1% for private businesses, which he said requires some encouraging on the Ministry’s behalf. He said his Ministry would continue to promote vocational training and initiatives that match persons with disabilities of all kinds to the appropriate career.

He finished by commenting on the need to improve civil justice procedures for the disabled when it comes to complaints and resolving requests.

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