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Hun Sen Speaks Up for Disabled

Prime Minister Hun Sen called for universal respect for the rights of those with disabilities, as Cambodia marked World Disabled Day Thursday.

Cambodian businesses and non-governmental organizations should provide jobs to qualified people with disabilities, Hun Sen said, speaking at a ceremony at the National Education Institute, in Phnom Penh.

Hun Sen, who lost his left eye in a battle with Lon Nol soldiers, in April 1975, said society should not stigmatize those with disabilities.

“Stop such words like, ‘you, blind,’ or ‘no-legged man,’ because it hurts,” Hun Sen said. “When I hear these words, I hurt, because I’m also a disabled person.”

According to government figures, 1.4 percent of Cambodia’s population is disabled, a figure of about 200,000.