Learning Together Seminar: The Ordinance of Poor Relief – University of Copenhagen

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09 October 2018

Learning Together Seminar: The Ordinance of Poor Relief

In September, we once again held a PRIVACY 'Learning-Together Seminar’. The topic was the Ordinance on poor relief in Copenhagen, 1708. Helle Vogt and Pernille Ulla Knudsen led the seminar, focusing on the question: How can we find privacy issues in a law text?

In 1708 a regulation on poor relief and beggars was instated in Copenhagen. This radically changed the lives for many people unable to provide for themselves because of sickness, disability or age. Before this regulation, it was publicly regulated that these people could beg throughout the town. After this regulation, public help was provided for those who were in need and not themselves were to blame for their poverty. Other beggars were chased and expelled from Copenhagen or sent into poor houses. If you were poor, your private life was not private.

During the seminar, the text from the regulation from 1708 was addressed from many angles at Privacy studies. The outcome of the seminar was that the text from the regulation actually provided the Privacy team with a glimpse and insight into the not so private, private life in Copenhagen in the year of 1708.