A 26-year-old disabled man who was struggling to find work and was featured in Khmer Times in July has passed an exam to become an official at the Information Department in Battambang province.
Yeung Bun Srun was born with Down syndrome and has a bachelor degree in business management, as well as 16 other certificates, but was unable to get a steady job because discrimination blocked his path.
Nhem Morokot, under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Woman’s Affairs whose portfolio includes aiding disabled people, said Mr Bun Srun was more than qualified to take on a government job.
She added that Information Minister Khieu Kanharith had championed the young man’s case and prioritised him for a role with the provincial Information Department in Battambang.
“This shows there should be no disability discrimination,” Ms Morokot said. “He has the ability to work. Now he has job and a salary for himself. This means a new life for him.”
Ngin Saorath, director of the Cambodia Disabled People’s Organisation, said all disabled people who are capable of working will be prioritised for jobs with the government.
“Disabled people have a lot of ability. They will now be able to get jobs because the government is encouraging them,” he said.
According to Ms Morakot, two percent of annual hires at government institutions and one percent in the private sector must be disabled people.
Mr Bun Srun earlier said that he hoped employers’ attitudes would change but that he has never held any resentment against those who discriminate.
“Sometimes, someone hates my disability, they even hate my ugly face, and they do not want to talk with me or contact me; but I do not hate them,” he said. “I still want to talk with everyone around me.
“I want to make friends because I have no parents and live alone. I struggle in life, but I don’t let it make me depressed.”