The Hand of a Child

photo by Karen forever

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The other evening I was going for a walk in an Italian city. Right in the centre there were two children aged about 4 or 5 years old. They were alone and were begging on the pavement. A short distance away I asked a carabiniere to take action. In reply he told me to take the matter to the police and indicated a couple of policemen. I went to them. They reassured me that someone would take action. Half an hour later, the children were still there.
Children should not be asking for alms. But they are doing this in full view of everyone. They could be children who have been kidnapped or sold. What is the point of having forces that police us if they don’t protect children? To escort d..k heads to the stadium and our employees to Montecitirio?
I have thought of making my Blog available for the photos of children abandoned in the streets that you take and send me via MMS. My lawyer has advised me against it. He told me that according to Italian law I would end up in prison. But on the other hand, whoever obliges children, perhaps children who have been kidnapped , to beg on the streets and at times even to prostitute themselves doesn’t risk a thing in this rubbish country.
Help me. Find an idea to identify these children, so that this disgusting situation can stop.

I’m including an extract from the lawyer’s letter:

”I am sending a few observations about the questions relating to the possibility of publishing on an Internet site, photos portraying minors who are in an apparent “state of difficulty”, snapped and sent via MMS by users. There are numerous relevant regulations to consider and all lead to a definite negative opinion about this question.

In particular:

- article 96 of law n. 633 of 22 April 1941 sets out that: “the portrait of a person cannot be displayed, reproduced or put on sale without the consent of the person”. The following article, article 97, introduces certain exceptions to the principle laid down, allowing that “it’s not necessary to have consent of the person portrayed when the reproduction of the image is justified by the notoriety or by the public office held, for needs of justice or of the police, for scientific, didactic or cultural reasons, or when the reproduction is connected to facts, happenings, ceremonies of public interest or taking place in public. The portrait cannot however be displayed or made available for sale when the display or selling causes damage to the honour, the reputation or the decorum of the person portrayed.”

- As regards the publication of images of minors, the regulation is much more restrictive. In fact, it is not possible to publish images of minors in a way that allows them to be recognised, and this is even in a case of facts of public importance. According to article 114, 6° comma, c.p.p “It is forbidden to publish particulars and the image of minors who are witnesses, persons who have been offended or damaged by a crime until they have reached the age of majority. Furthermore it is forbidden to publish elements that even indirectly can anyway lead to the identification of minors. The Tribunal for Minors, acting in the exclusive interest of the minor, or the minor who has already reached 16 years, can consent to the publication.”

- article 50 of D. lgs. n. 196/2003 (Unified Text on the handling of personal data), makes reference to article 13 of Dpr n. 448/1988, and specifies that “the prohibition on the publication or the distribution in any way of news or images that can allow the identification of a minor is to be observed even when the minor is involved in any way in judicial proceedings that are not penal proceedings.

-Article 7 of Attachment A (Deontological Code relating to Journalistic activity) to the Unified Text on the handling of personal data, under the heading “protecting minors” says: “so as to protect their personality, the journalist must not publish the names of minors involved in news items, nor give details that can lead to their identification.
The protection of the personality of a minor, bearing in mind the quality of the news item and its components, extends to facts that are not specifically crimes.
The right to privacy for the minor must always have priority over the right of criticism and to give news. However, if a journalist decides to distribute news or images relating to a minor, for motives of public interest and without moving the limits of the law, he must take on the responsibility to evaluate whether the publication is really in the interest of the minor, according to the principles and the limits set out in the “Carta di Treviso”.

- The Carta di Treviso just mentioned, was approved and signed up to, in collaboration with Telefono Azzurro {emergency help line for children}, with FNSI, and the Order of Journalists, confirms that the respect for the person who is a minor needs his anonymity to be protected, which implies renouncing the publication of elements that can even indirectly lead to his identification including the photographic image of the minor which without doubt is a fundamental element.
Because of what has been set out above I believe that the initiative is in contrast with the regulations and the prohibitions set out above.
On the consideration of sanctions, the situation is fairly complex.
In fact, there are not specific sanctions associated with the violation of the prohibitions given above. The Privacy Code, however, sets down a relevant prison sentence
(we are talking about a sentence of from 6 to 18 months in prison) for distribution of this data without the consent of the relevant person; certainly, the regulation allows for a subjective element – the intention to get a profit for oneself or for others or to cause damage to others – which in this case would be difficult to identify but whose existence could however be verified on the basis of considerations that cannot be hypothesized right now.
Thus, based on these assumptions, I suggest that you defer.”

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:23 AM in | Comments (6) | Comments in Italian (translated) Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | listen_it_it.gifListen | TrackBack (0) |
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The world is forgetting about itself because is looking forward to look for an horizon that exists only in its mind.

Those laws are mindless like the poor idiots that conceived them.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | March 13, 2007 09:45 PM

Dear Beppe, next time you will see one of those children, I suggest you to ask to police or carabinieri to take action and, in case there won't be any action, take a picture of the police or carabinieri who didn't do the job they are paid for. It would also be a great thing to be able to track the parents of those kids, or who sent them begging in the street, and take a picture of them too. Then, post the pictures as anonymous in your Blog. Like a kind of 21st century pillory (gogna), let's show to the world those shameful people, who permit that things like this still happen.
By the way: Police forces usually take pictures, spy phone calls and a get a lot of information on us and I guess they don't always ask the permission for that...
I also find the law a bit ridiculous, when it pretends to protect children and then, pictures of children are used every day in television and newspaper commercials for pampers and McDonalds.

Posted by: Alberto Mena | March 12, 2007 05:57 PM

Hello there,
What a sorry State of affair is Italy in!
For a Country so proud of being a Civilized Nation, ranting and raving for Moratorium, for Peace Worldwide, for Debt forgiveness etc.
For all the good intention Italy has to get a grip on itself, Italy is in a shamble a real sorry state, while people die in Hospitals daily, family struggling toward the end of the month and criminals ruling the streets, Politicians bickers amongst each other for DICO?
A good dose of reality that what is missing, the highest paid Politicians in Europe, and they are not able to hold a Government together for more than 9 months?
These Idiots have missed each and every possible estimate, growth (They raised taxes because of this) revenue (37.7 billion more than estimate) 2006 budget (Off by 2.4% of GDP, approx 30 billions) and on and on.
These incompetent now are fighting amongst each other for the new Electoral Law, you already know why, their future is on the line, not yours, and yours is in their incapable hands.
Their daily struggle at work is how to explain to you why they are there, while for you is how to make hands and meat and survive another day.

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | March 12, 2007 01:37 PM

Please, I suggest to have a look to the research link and eventually contact the author for more insights to find a viable solution to the problem. I'm ashamed that minors, those that will be the future adults in the country have to live in degrading state in a country that claims to be civilised.

'I minori in stato di abbandono. Aspetti giuridici e sociologici' Cosimo Di Bari.

Best regards,

Posted by: Massimo Di Bella | March 12, 2007 11:13 AM

For sure the minor must be helped but it is necessary to suit their parents or guardian, either for begging and/or abandonment

Posted by: gianfranco roncolato | March 12, 2007 07:40 AM

In the U.S., there are agencies to whom you can send the photos and who will post them in order to assist them to find their parents or a new home. I am surprised that Italy does not have a similar government agency. Perhaps you could send the photos to the U.S. site, and direct your Italian readers to that site.

Posted by: FRANCIS PILEGGI | March 12, 2007 01:56 AM

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