As a result of the chronic war of more than two decades, Cambodia has become one of the poor countries in the South East Asia. Those consequences have caused great destruction for Cambodia in all sectors both economy and social affairs. The social services have been completely destroyed, so there were no such activities from 1975 to 1978. In 1979, Cambodia has been liberated from the danger of genocide. The national infrastructure has been rebuilt again, and has functioned well in working to rehabilitate and build the country in all sectors toward national development.

The Social Affairs Institution was created in late 1979, and started its activities in February of 1980. The main strategy then was to save hundreds thousands of orphans left by parents, relatives, and people, who had been victimized by the genocidal regime of Khmer Rouge (Pol Pot). And then, the Social Affairs Institution has been expanded subsequently in order to insure social well being for the vulnerable people in the whole national society.

b. Social Welfare Administrative Structure and Organization

(1) The Central level:

There are 6 ministries (Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education Youth and Sport, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training) and their line departments that directly/indirectly offer social welfare support for general people including PWD. These ministries are mainly responsible for providing services/assistance to PWD for their inclusion into mainstream society. However, as PWD are not theirs specific target groups, projects and programs are usually designed for the general population. The Ministry Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MOSVY) is the core Ministry that has the main responsibility for providing rehabilitation and vocational, skills training services to PWD. The Department of Rehabilitation, Department of Veteran Pensions and Department of Children Welfare have been established to carry out and support activities related to PWD including Children with Disabilities. For education, a Special Education Office has been established within the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MOEYS) to introduce the inclusive education of children with disabilities based on the principle of Education for All.

The Rehabilitation Department, which under Directorate General of Technical Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation (MOSVY) is the main focal point for public relations and coordination. It has the roles and duties to prepare guidelines, principles and policies on physical rehabilitation, vocational training and employment promotion of people with disabilities, and also the roles to manage, monitor and evaluate the work result of provincial level.

In Cambodia, due to the lack of resources of government ministries, NGOs and IOs have been the main implementers of services programs for PWD. Therefore, to avoid overlapping services and to maximize the use of resources, as well as to strengthen collaboration between relevant government institutions with NGOs and IOs working in the disability areas, the Disability Action Council (DAC) was established in 1997 under the leadership of MOSVY, as a semi-autonomous National Coordinating Body. This Organization is included representatives from the relevant government ministries, NGOs and individuals committed to working for promoting the well being of PWD. It is also serve as a national focal point on disability matters to facilitate the continuous evolution of a comprehensive national approach to rehabilitation, equalization of opportunities and prevention of disabilities.

(2) The Provincial / Municipal level:

The Provincial Directorate of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (PDSVY) is the local unit of the MOSVY. This unit has the role of leading and managing administrative works, and carrying out work program based on laws, decrees, sub-decrees, policies, declarations, circulars, and various proclamations that were issued by the MOSVY.

(3) The District level:

The District Office of SVY is locally and directly responsible for the implementation of the project on social affairs. It has a task to follow-up the situation of social affairs, veterans, and youth rehabilitation locally, and directly executes these works according to the guidelines of Provincial Directorate of SVY.

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