Solinn's remarks during launching of Social Protection

Launching of five-year Social Protection Program (2017-2021) at Oxfam. Photo: Oxfam

Oxfam Launches 5-year Social Protection Program

Social protection for vulnerable groups and informal workers has become an important topic in 2015 Millennium Development Goals and 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Oxfam today launches a five-year program called “Inclusive and Equitable Social Protection for Marginalized Workers in ASEAN” at Oxfam office. With financial support from Belgium Ministry of Foreign Affairs the program covers Cambodia, Lao and Vietnam aiming at promoting decent works to reduce poverty and increasing inclusive development where all marginalized and excluded groups are involved in the development process.

Marginalize and excluded groups in this program refer to those working in entertainment, food and brewery, gasoline stations, waste collection, public transportation, street vendors and domestic workers, small scale farmers, and garment and sex workers. This program will help approximately 200,000 people especially women in three countries, one third is targeted in Cambodia.

“Civil society organisations can work alongside governments and contribute to learning and resolving challenges and more importantly addressing the needs of the people,” said Solinn Lim, Oxfam Country Director, during the opening remarks. “This initiative contributes to 2016-2025 National Social Protection Policy Framework of the Royal Government of Cambodia which was just put into implementation over last four days,” Lim added.

The five-year program will contribute to six goals of SDGs including goal 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 respectively.)

The program will work with three regional partners (Mekong Migration Center, (MMN), Asia Monitoring Resource Center (AMRC) and StreetNet) and 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)).

Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos are enjoying notable economic growth and there has been significant increase in citizen’s well-beings. However, marginalized and informal groups have not yet fully benefitted from it. According to ILO and World Bank the contribution to economic development by informal worker in Cambodia is 65 per cent.  

Ok Malika, ILO National Program Officer for Social Protection, said “Social protection is a human rights. Everyone deserves a protection, either fully or partly by their government, to ensure that they will not fall into poverty when they face any “contingencies during their life cycle.”

More information about the program: Social Protection