Oxfam Launches 5-year Social Protection Program
Launching of five-year Social Protection Program (2017-2021) at Oxfam in Cambodia.
Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos are enjoying notable economic growth and there has been significant increase in citizen’s well-beings. However, marginalized and informal workers have not yet fully benefitted from it. According to ILO and World Bank, the contribution to economic development by the informal sector in Cambodia is 65 per cent.
Social protection for vulnerable groups and informal workers has become an important topic in the 2015 Millennium Development Goals and 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This 2017, Oxfam in Cambodia launched a five-year program called Inclusive and Equitable Social Protection for Marginalized Workers in ASEAN. This program is funded by the Belgium Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and covers Cambodia, Lao and Vietnam. It aims to promote decent work, reduce poverty, and increasing inclusive development, so that all marginalized and excluded groups become involved in the development process.
The five-year program focuses on empowering workers in the industries of entertainment, food and brewery, gasoline stations, waste collection, public transportation, as well as informal sector workers such as street vendors, domestic workers, small scale farmers, garment and sex workers. This program is projected to reach approximately 200,000 people, especially women in the three countries, one third of which is targeted in Cambodia.
“Civil society organisations can work alongside governments and contribute to learning and resolving challenges, and more importantly, in addressing the needs of the people,” said Solinn Lim – Oxfam in Cambodia's Country Director – during the launch event's opening remarks. “This initiative contributes to 2016-2025 National Social Protection Policy Framework of the Royal Government of Cambodia, which just started implementation four days ago,” Lim added.
Oxfam's Inclusive and Equitable Social Protection for Marginalized Workers in ASEAN prgram will contribute to SDG goals 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, and 16 — No Poverty, Good Health and Well-being, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Reduced Inequality, and Peace Justice and Strong Institutions. It is set to work with three regional partners: Mekong Migration Center (MMC), Asia Monitoring Resource Center (AMRC), and StreetNet. As well as six local partners: United Sisterhood Alliance (Us), Coalition of Cambodian Farmer Community (CCFC), Youth Resource Development Program (YRDP), Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Worker Democratic Union (CCAWDU), Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA) and Cambodia Food and Service Workers Federation (CFSWF).
Ok Malika, ILO National Program Officer for Social Protection, said “Social protection is a human right. Everyone deserves protection, either fully or partly by their government, to ensure that they will not fall into poverty when they face any contingencies in their life".