Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons

Federal Department For Media Harmful To Young Persons

Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons

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The Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons ( or BPjM) is an upper-level German federal agency subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. It is responsible for examining media works allegedly harmful to young people and entering these onto an official list — a process known as Indizierung (indexing) in German. The decision to index a work has a variety of legal implications.

Legal basis

The basic rights of freedom of expression and artistic freedom in Article 5 of the German Grundgesetz are not guaranteed without limits. Along with the "provisions of general laws and "provisions in the right of personal honor", "provisions for the protection of young persons" may restrict freedom of expression (Article 5 Paragraph 2) .

The Jugendschutzgesetz (Youth Protection Law), which came into effect in April 2003, is one such provision. It superseded the Gesetz über die Verbreitung jugendgefährdender Schriften (Law on the Distribution of Writings Harmful to Young Persons) as the legal basis for the restriction of freedom of expression when applied to physical media (printed works, videos, CD-ROMs etc.).

The Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag (State Treaty on Media Protection of Young Persons) between the different Länder came into effect on the same day as the Jugendschutzgesetz and regulates the distribution of broadcasts and virtual media. It also provides a legal basis for the actions of the...
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