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Analysis of the System for Protection of Minors from Harmful Media – Youth Protection Act and Interstate Treaty

Analysis of the System for Protection of Minors from Harmful Media – Youth Protection Act and Interstate Treaty

In 2007/2008, the Institute had variously outlined and communicated the results of its evaluation of the system for the protection of minors. Carried out from October 2006 to October 2007, this project analysed the current system for the protection of minors from harmful media as established by the Federal Youth Protection Act and the Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors from Harmful Media. On the basis of its results, the Federal Government and the States intended to optimise the system.

The project design aimed at evaluating the way the processes and organisations prescribed by applicable laws are working; the research purpose was orientated according to the parameters set by the federal government and the States as well as the States’ declared protocols regarding the Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors from Harmful Media. The analysis proceeded in two stages, an analysis of adequacy and one of compliance.

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Project Description

In the analysis of adequacy, the processes reformed in the law’s stipulations were examined with a view to the extent to which they are adequate for achieving the particular regulatory goal in question – that is, the specific regulatory purpose with due regard to constitutional law. In the areas of particular reference, the analysis of adequacy was intended to demonstrate inherent weaknesses in the system for the protection of minors and to assess the assignment of regulatory competencies, the areas of application of the legal frameworks and the inclusion of regimes for self-regulation.

Alongside this, findings on acceptability on the part of relevant agents and addressees were determined through workshops, group and individual interviews with parents, minors and disseminating agencies in media-pedagogy as well as through interviews with experts. The qualitative enquiry with parents, minors and pedagogical counsellors was performed by the JFF – Institute for Media Pedagogy in Research and Practice (JFF – Institut für Medienpädagogik in Forschung und Praxis, München).

The analysis of compliance which builds on these results intended to assess how far the proposed regulations stand up in practice and to establish what weaknesses result in practice, also regarding how suitable the criteria for the protection of minors are in praxis and how well supervision performs. Reasons for possible weaknesses were established via case studies and openings for improvements identified.

The overall result of the analysis wasthat the protection of young people from harmful media has improved fundamentally by dint of the 2003 amendment; the concept of regulated self-regulation was accepted by all parties involved.

The study does, however, point to possibilities for improvement in many concrete fields. The 390 –page final report was submitted to the commissioning agency in October 2007 and made accessible on the Institute’s homepage.

Project Information


Duration: 2006-2007

Third party

Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (BMFSFJ) in Abstimmung mit den Ländern

Cooperation Partner

C. Scheunert

Contact person

Dr. Stephan Dreyer
Senior Researcher Media Law & Media Governance

Dr. Stephan Dreyer

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung │ Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 - 33
Fax +49 (0)40 45 02 17 - 77

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