'Camera law' approved in preliminary vote

Knesset gives preliminary approval to law requiring security cameras in institutions caring for minors and helpless.

Chana Roberts ,

Security camera
Security camera

The Knesset on Wednesday granted preliminary approval (69-0) to a bill which would require institutions providing care to minors and the helpless to install security cameras.

The "Camera Law" was proposed by MK Yifat Shasha-Biton (Kulanu) and a group of MKs. Its list of "institutions" includes preschools and schools during their hours of operation. The film will be accessible only to law enforcement, and only with a court order and when there is a suspicion a crime was committed.

The cameras will be installed only in coordination with the relevant government offices. Subsidies similar to those of after-school programs will be offered to those institutions which install cameras voluntarily.

The bill notes that "in recent years, there have been hundreds of cases of complaints that daycare and preschool staff act with violence towards children. However, 90% of these cases are closed due to lack of evidence. There are instances in which two or three cases have been opened against the same suspects, but they are closed over and over, usually because of the difficulty in providing evidence. This bill is intended to resolve the problem of lack of evidence.... There are 28,000 elderly in nursing homes and public care centers. There are many testimonies of severe physical and verbal violence towards patients. Here, too, due to lack of evidence....it is difficult to prove in court."

Shasha-Biton noted that until the recent tragedy which took Yasmin Vineta's life, many people did not understand why such a law was necessary, She also said that over the past few months, she had been shamed by other MKs for pushing the Camera Law.

According to her, the law will eventually require institutions to install cameras as a condition for receiving a license.

The bill will now be examined by the Knesset's Special Committee for the Rights of the Child.