The Disability Action Council yesterday confirmed that the government will set new regulations next year requiring public and private institutions to install ramps, which comply with international standards, for disabled people.
Speaking at a workshop to discuss the 2019-2030 National Disability Strategic Plan, DAC secretary general Em Chan Makara yesterday said that nowadays most institutions have ramps for the disabled, but some of these are useless.
“Some ramps are too steep and have no handrails for a disabled person to use,” he said. “Some of the institutions use ramps for cars and expect disabled persons to use them.”
Mr Chan Makara added that next year, the government through the Land Management Ministry will issue new regulations to ensure that all ramps for disabled people are standardised.
He also expressed concern over disabled people who are exploited by others who hire them to sing along sidewalks in order to make money.
“We usually crack down on people who hire the disabled to beg in public and advise those who are exploited to start their own businesses such as raising pigs or chickens to earn a living,” he added.
Mey Samith, executive director of Phnom Penh Center For Independent Living, yesterday said at the workshop that he acknowledged that most of the state and private institutions, hotels and restaurants have provided ramps for disabled people but noted that some of these were very steep.
“Some ramps are very steep for us and we still need people to push our wheelchairs up,” he said “The institutions provided these ramps for us but we find them very difficult to use.”
Government officials, the UN Development Program, civil society and persons with disabilities are gathering at the workshop to discuss and formulate a new 2019-2030 National Disability Strategic Plan to ensure that persons with disabilities live in quality and equality. The workshop ends today.
Nick Beresford, UNDP country director, said yesterday that the UN body has supported the DAC in implementing the last five-year National Disability Strategic Plan under the Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia.
“Today’s event marks our continued support to the Cambodian government in developing the new strategic plan and our joint commitment to ensuring that all people, particularly those facing discrimination and exclusion, have access and voice and can participate meaningfully in every aspect of life,” he said.
Mr Beresford said that the new National Disability Strategic Plan is designed in a way that contributes to the full realization of the promise of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and its core pledge of leaving no one behind.
According to a recent report by the Social Affairs Ministry, there are 2,839 persons with disabilities, including 1,478 severely disabled, who are employed in ministries and state institutions.
The report also said that in the private sector, 77 companies have hired a total of 3,055 disabled people.