On Monday, the Knesset plenum approved in its first reading a bill requiring the installation of security cameras for the protection of toddlers in day care centers, submitted by MK Yifat Shaha-Biton (Kulanu) and a group of members of Knesset.

The bill proposes to require the installation of security cameras in day care centers and rehabilitation day care centers. According to the proposal, the cameras will document day care center activity during all hours of operation, in a video recording without sound. Viewing or using the video footage is prohibited, with the exception of use by law enforcement authorities, for the conduct of criminal proceedings.

The bill’s explanatory notes state the following: “In the wake of the exposure of cases of injury and abuse of toddlers in day care centers, one of which ended in the death of a toddler, it is proposed that every day care center for toddlers be required to install and operate security cameras to protect toddlers at the center. 

The proposed law aims to achieve a worthy end in a proportional manner. Cameras documenting the care for helpless toddlers may be used as a means of deterrence, control and enforcement, the efficacy of which should not be underestimated.  The intention behind installation of security cameras is to achieve three main objectives: deterrence against injury of toddlers, identifying cases of injury and using documentation of an injury that occurred for investigation and enforcement purposes.

“The installation of cameras is required in view of the unfortunate reality in which young toddlers are liable to be exposed to injuries and harsh violence, but there is no way of properly handling many of these cases. However, having security cameras [installed] in day care centers during all hours of operation results in a violation of privacy of the toddlers and the workers at the day care center.  The proposed arrangement is designed to create a meticulous balance between the need to prevent and identify the injury of helpless toddlers in order to protect their lives, welfare, health and dignity, on the one hand, and to maintain the dignity and privacy of the toddlers, day care staff members and any other person who is at the day care center, on the other hand.”

Sixty-seven MKs supported the bill, while two voted against it, with one abstention; the bill will now be transferred to the Knesset’s Special Committee for the Rights of the Child.