With reference to the nude photos of a minor, appeared in the photographic project #protestpecovor of Alex Iordache, the International Center La Strada Moldova declares the following:
The distribution of nude photos of a child is a serious violation of many rights of the child. Such actions affect the child's intimate life and dignity, compromise her/his public image and encourage the demand for other similar content. Publishing such photos in the public space normalizes the approach of the child's body as an erotic object, which could express sensuality and delight the senses for bodily pleasures.
The photos published on October 7 on the personal page of the photographer Alex Iordache represent a child who can be identified by other people from the community in which she lives, by the peers with whom she interacts. The alleged artistic value of such photographs can in no way compensate for the emotional and social impact they can generate on the child and her long-term development. The creation, publication and distribution of nude photos of children are a flagrant violation of the child's right to be protected from any interference and attacks, including in the virtual space. This remains in force especially when the photographs are proposed to be appreciated as works of art, by a public figure who enjoys a good reputation and the appreciation by an impressive number of people.
Last but not least, such photos are entertainment material for sexual abusers. They collect from the online environment hundreds of photographic and video materials representing children in explicit sexual poses, to later distribute them on social networks of pedophiles, to satisfy their sexual desires or to get money in exchange for them. Mr. Iordache's actions are a conscious violation of the boundary between freedom of expression and the exploitation of child's sexuality, which only encourages online sexual abuse and must be stopped immediately.
From another perspective, the publication of such photographs violates a number of legal provisions designed to protect the rights of the child:
- art. 4 of Law no. 30 of March 7,2013 on the protection of children against the negative impact of information, which establishes the prohibition of dissemination of information containing personal data with negative impact on children, namely: (1) In the mass media it is forbidden to publish information containing personal data in cases when: c) photographs of children or videos about them are presented in the context of negative social phenomena, which allows the identification of children; d) the respective information offends the dignity of the identified child and/or harms his/her superior interests.
- Art. 6 of the Law on children's rights no. 338-XIII of December 15, 1994, namely: The state protects the child's inviolability, protecting her/him from any form of exploitation.
- Article 50 para. (4) of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, namely: The exploitation of minors, their use in activities that would harm their health, morality or that would endanger their lives or normal development are prohibited.
In the context of the above, we request that the photos representing minors in nude poses or in an erotic context be deleted immediately and that any similar practice or initiative be stopped.