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Israel: Identity Protection for Minors

(Apr. 13, 2010) On March 17, 2010, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed an amendment to the Youth Law (Treatment and Supervision) requiring stronger protections for minors from exposure to being photographed than those previously in place.

Prior to the passage of the amendment, the Law had prohibited the publication of a minor's name and any other information that might have led to his or her identification, if its publication or the circumstances thereof might have revealed the minor's:

  • having a summons before a court,
  • receiving help from a social worker,
  • actual or attempted suicide,
  • (or his relatives') having committed an offense or an indecent act,
  • being a victim of a sexual or other violent offense,
  • having been victimized by a person whose well-being depended on him, or
  • being linked to an AIDS test or to a psychiatric exam, treatment, or institutionalization.

According to the amendment bill's explanatory notes, the protections provided by the Law did not achieve their intended goals when photographs included the depiction of minors with their faces only partially covered or included additional details enabling their identification. The amendment therefore added prohibitions on the identification of minors by the general public as well as by their immediate environment, when there is either a hint provided as to their identity or their identification is facilitated by publication of audiotapes involving them by disclosure of full or partial images of them or other persons close to them, or by any other means.

In addition to excluding from the above types of prohibitions the publication of identifying information authorized by courts and by the police for the purpose of investigation of crimes, the amendment also excludes from the prohibitions identifying information regarding traffic accidents and terrorism victims or witnesses. (Youth Law (Treatment and Supervision) (Amendment No. 18) 5770-2010, the Knesset website,, & the bill of that law, (both last visited Apr. 9, 2010).)