Taking pictures of the area under a person’s skirt or blouse without their consent is to become a punishable crime in Germany, after lawmakers passed legislation on the matter on Friday.
The bill also makes it illegal to take pictures of or film those who have been killed in accidents.
The practice of secretly taking pictures or footage between someone’s legs is known as upskirting, which has previously not been covered by German criminal law in most cases.
The issue has gained traction in recent years as cameras become smaller due to modern technology, with devices sometimes hidden on stairs or escalators. Pictures taken without consent are often sold online or shared in chat forums.
Under the legislation passed by the Bundestag lower house, the crime will be punishable by a fine or a prison sentence of up to two years.
The same penalties apply with regards to people killed in accidents. Until now, only living victims have been protected by the law.
“Taking a picture of a woman under her skirt or her bustline is a flagrant violation of her privacy,’’ Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said.
Lambrecht added that such pictures are a violation of an individual’s personal rights, as well as their own sexual agency.
Hanna Seidel, who launched a petition to get upskirting banned in Germany together with Ida Marie Sassenberg, called the legislation “a great symbol for justice, politics and society.”
Seidel said it was important to show that sexual harassment does not necessarily have to involve touching.
The petition was signed by 100,000 people.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Felix Ajide (NAN)
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