The idea of social protection for everyone is clearly enshrined in the constitution of Cambodia. Article 36 states that “Every Khmer citizen shall have the right to obtain social security and other social benefits as determined by law.” Article 72 stipulates that “The health of the people shall be guaranteed. (…) Poor citizens shall receive free medical consultation in public hospitals, infirmaries and maternities.”
The Cambodian Parliament adopted the Social Security Law in September 2002. The law covers all workers defined by the provisions of the Labour Law, state and public workers who are not governed by the Common Statute for Civil Servants or by the Diplomatic Statute, trainees and apprentices, self-employed workers, and seasonal or occasional workers. This law stipulates the introduction of a contributory social insurance system granting workers social security benefits in case of employment injury, retirement, invalidity, death, and other circumstances. On 2 March 2007, the Prime Minister signed a sub-decree establishing the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).