DAA News Network

Cambodia: Disabled people continue to face poverty and discrimination

Posted 30/3-11 at 23.48

Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world and still suffering from the legacy of thirty years of war, with landmines estimated to have killed or injured up to 2% of the population.

Victims of landmines are part of more than an estimated 60,000 physically disabled people who, together with other disabled people, "... are among the most vulnerable groups in Cambodian society. They lack equal access to education, training and employment. While many workers with disabilities have considerable skills, many have not had the opportunity to develop their potential." (2009 International Labor Organization report)

The Cambodian government introduced a Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of People with Disabilities in 2009 to support the right to employment without discrimination. In the same year a National Plan of Action for Persons with Disabilities was adopted in order better to address needs and provide services. However, according to the Cambodian Disabled Peoples Organization, lack of human and financial resources has hindered any real progress. Some improvement has been made by disabled people forming their own organisations. For example, the Angkor Association for the Disabled, founded by Sem Sovantha, a landmine survivor, provides shelter and training to members and campaigns against discrimination.

"When they are not with an association," Sem Sovantha explained, "there is a problem with the authorities. When they have an association, people will accept them and talk to them." However, he says, negative social attitudes and discrimination - physical harassment, social ostracism and economic exclusion, remain widespread.

http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3090&Itemid=207

 

Comments:

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