Including disability in social protection systems to overcome challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and create a more inclusive society

Including disability in social protection systems to overcome challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and create a more inclusive society

From August 2nd to 5th, 2021, the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation (CDPO), in collaboration with the Department of Welfare for Persons with Disabilities (DWPD), the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) and the General Secretariat for the National Social Protection Council (GS- NSPC), held an introductory training on disability and social protection for Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs).

Through the support of the ACCESS Program, funded by the Government of Australia, the four-day training was attended by OPD members, including the Women With Disabilities Federation (WWDFs). The objective of the training was to raise awareness among OPDs about disability inclusion in social protection in order to promote an inclusive social protection system in  Cambodia. Ms. Sarah Wadley, First Secretary at the Australian Embassy to Cambodia, and H.E. Samheng Boros, Secretary of State at MoSVY, provided welcome remarks at the training event.

Seventy participants were in attendance, including representatives from MoSVY, GS- NSPC, the Department of ID-Poor of the Ministry of Planning, the Department of Welfare for Persons with Disabilities and Social Welfare Department of MoSVY, the Australian Embassy to Cambodia, CDPO, OPDs, and the ACCESS Program team.

Mrs. Mak Monika, Executive Director of CDPO, stated that in order to support persons with disabilities, multisectoral approaches are required, in which different counterparts should collaborate to promote the rights of persons with disabilities. She appreciated the support from the Australian Government through the ACCESS Program to support persons with disabilities in Cambodia, including the provision of personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

H.E. Samheng Boros, Secretary of State at MoSVY, expressed in his opening remarks that social protection is becoming the key priority for the Royal Government of Cambodia to ensure that the most vulnerable populations, including persons with disabilities, are protected and supported. He added that the Government of Australia has been a long-standing partner and has continuously supported the disability sector in Cambodia.

Ms. Sarah Wadley stated, “Social protection is one of the priorities of the Australian Government’s assistance in Cambodia. The Government of Australia remains committed to supporting our long-standing partners to promote resilience of the people of Cambodia, especially the most vulnerable groups including persons with disabilities and women affected by gender-based violence.”