The Chamber of Representatives approved unanimously a bill by Carina Van Cauter and Patrick Dewael (of the Flemish Conservative-Liberal/Liberal party) which punishes voyeurism by a prison sentence of between 6 months to five years.
The offence will include dissemination of images of naked people without their consent.
The courts’ approach to voyeurism vastly differ from one district to another. The perpetrators of such crimes still regularly escape prosecution. This happened last May for a basketball coach from Diepenbeek in Flanders, who filmed young girls in the shower.
This new legislation will punish the act of either watching, or encouraging others to watch, someone when they are naked or undertaking a sexual activity whether in a public or private location. Sometimes this may be in circumstances in which they might reasonably consider that there has been no violation of their privacy. The production of a visual or audio recording and its dissemination are also offences.
The punishment will be increased if the victim is a minor.