Recognizing Disability through Social Norms and Fundamental Rights Promotes a Discrimination-Free Life for People with Disabilities

Kandal: On September 25, 2023, the Department of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation of Kandal Province, in collaboration with the Provincial Governor, organized a significant training course titled “Identification of Disabilities through the Social Norm and Basic Rights.”

Mr. Ly Sokthy, the Director of the Kandal Provincial Department of Social Affairs, emphasized that the purpose behind conducting this training was to revisit essential lessons, bolster the capacity, and enhance the knowledge of trainers at the municipal, district, and commune levels. This training particularly targeted officers responsible for the commune program, aiming to ensure their thorough understanding of the procedures for implementing the Disability Identification Program in alignment with social norms and fundamental rights.

Mr. Sokthy further explained that the program, focused on identifying disability through the social model and basic rights, is a government initiative dating back to July 2021. It falls under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, which officially launched the Guidelines for the Identification of Disabilities through the Social Model and Basic Rights.

Highlighting the program’s execution, the Director emphasized that it involves collecting data from the general population across the province through a mobile information technology app. This task is entrusted to authorized Commune/Sangkat Program Officers who utilize the mobile app system to gather approved data. Subsequently, this data undergoes inspection at the Provincial Department of Social Welfare and is further reviewed by the Department of Disability Welfare within the Ministry of Social Affairs. The result is the issuance of disability ID cards, with the distribution of these cards to individuals with disabilities in communes or sangkats approved by the Ministry.

The Deputy Governor of Kandal Province underscored the significance of the “Reminder Training on Disability Identification through the Social Model and Basic Rights.” He noted that all participants had acquired new knowledge that could be effectively applied at their local levels, emphasizing their heightened sense of responsibility.

Furthermore, the Deputy Governor stressed that the program not only offers substantial benefits to people with disabilities but also plays a pivotal role in shifting attitudes, championing the rights of individuals with disabilities and mental health, and ensuring equal living rights. This transformation is achieved through the widespread dissemination of legal documents across the country, fostering an environment free from discrimination.

As of September 25, 2023, Kandal Province had conducted interviews with a total of 15,852 people with disabilities, including 7,544 females. Out of these interviews, 14,165 data requests were made from 14 communes, with 14 departments sending data for 165 individuals. The Ministry had approved disability certificates for 13,968 people with disabilities.