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Sec. Em Chan Makara Thanks Barbie Park for Lifting Autism Ban

PHNOM PENH: Secretary of State for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the Disability Action Council, Em Chan Makara, thanked the owner of the Barbie Park Playground for lifting its ban on autistic children following his request.

On December 29, a discussion erupted on social media about Barbie Park’s ban on autistic children citing disturbances to others at the park. The move drew a great deal of public online criticism, with the Secretary of State requesting the park reconsider its ban and calling it discriminatory.

Following the request, the Barbie Park Facebook page publicly apologized, explaining that they had no bad intentions towards autistic children, but that their problem was with the parents. The “apology” went on to say that the child of a parent who had posted a complaint on Facebook regarding the ban “cannot control his emotions.” Emotional regulation can be a challenge for many with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The post went on to blame the child’s mother then confirmed that the ban was lifted.

Secretary of State Em Chan Makara thanked the park for lifting the ban, saying that such actions promote the rights of persons with disabilities in Cambodia.

He said that the government and the Disability Action Council have always encouraged opportunities for all persons with disabilities without discrimination so that full rights can be achieved for all.

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