In a bid to alleviate financial burdens for people living with disabilities, the Social Affairs Ministry is planning to build a $10 million centre complete with shop lots.
Em Chan Makara, secretary-general of the Social Affairs Ministry’s Disability Action Council, yesterday said during a workshop in Phnom Penh on how to prevent violence against women that the creation of the centre is a new idea aimed at supporting the livelihoods of disabled people.
Mr Chan Makara said the government will spend $10 million for the building dubbed National Centre for Cambodia Disability. He said the centre will be located in a six hectare area and that construction should conclude by 2023.
He said the centre will offer an opportunity to disabled people to open cafes, salons, souvenir shops and guesthouses.
“When this new centre becomes reality, we hope the sector will improve. People with disabilities will have a new chance in commerce in order to support their livelihood,” Mr Chan Makara said. “This centre will be a centre for commerce, so they can run shops.”
Hou Sameth, a secretary of state with the Women’s Affairs Ministry, said her ministry supports the plan.
Ms Sameth said the centre will also help women who have suffered from violence.
She noted that media reports have stated that women still suffer from violence.
“Not only disabled women are faced with violence, but women who are not disabled are also suffering from violence,” Ms Sameth said.
She added that her ministry is preparing the national plan for 2019-2023 to include the prevention of violence against women.
“Our plan is not only on paper, but we are taking action to prevent our women from facing violence,” Ms Sameth said. “The national plan creates legal provisions for them if they need to file a complaint or have health care provided.”
Sam Van, 32, said being a disabled individual makes it hard for her to secure a job or have a business.
Ms Van said many people are like her and that they lack the skills and chances in society to succeed.
“We want the state to help us find jobs and create a small business to support our lives,” she said.
According to a recent report by the Social Affairs Ministry, 2,839 persons with disabilities are employed in the public sector, while 77 private companies are employing 3,055 disabled people.
The government is aiming to have at least two percent of their workforce be made of disabled people, while creating laws to promote and ensure their rights, it added.