Public Defender Echoes Release of Information about Child’s Private Life

The Public Defender of Georgia is echoing the release of the video footage showing a child in the private space by the internet program Children's Time on May 24, 2017, which makes available the issues relating to the child's privacy for the public.

The Public Defender considers that in the abovementioned case, the release of personal information violated the child's dignity and reputation, which may have a devastating impact on the child’s personal development in the future.

The Public Defender notes that the right to the protection of one’s image is one of the essential components of privacy and one of the fundamental human rights. Justification of the violation of this right is even more difficult when the person is in private space and does not expect any interference of the third party with his/her private space.

According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is inadmissible to interfere with the private life of children or to damage their dignity and reputation.

The situation is especially disturbing when the parent abuses his/her power and violates the child’s right to privacy, while the media makes the child’s personal information available to the public, due to vague reasons.

While disseminating information about juveniles, the media should pay particular attention to the process of preparation and issuance of information and should protect the legal and ethical standards under the Georgian legislation and international legal instruments. Otherwise, the media should refuse to cover the issues related to the child’s rights.

Based on the above, the Public Defender calls on all relevant bodies - the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia, the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia - to take all appropriate measures within their competences in order to respond to the abovementioned case.

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