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IRIS 2010-2:1/26


Law on the Protection of Minors Revised

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Jurgita Iešmantaitė

Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania

On 22 December 2009 the Seimas adopted the Law on Amendments to the Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information (Law) on the grounds of proposals put forward by the President. The aim of the amendments is to widen the field of application of the Law to all public information.

The Law was supplemented with a new criterion according to which particular public information can be determined as harmful to minors if it promotes behaviour that is humiliating to human dignity, or sexual violence of minors and their exploitation, as well as sexual relations with minors. This concerns purposeful information by which minors are encouraged to undertake particular actions or change habits or views.

In addition, the Law was supplemented with a provision which obligates broadcasters to inform viewers about the potentially harmful content of broadcast information before the respective programme or a part of it is actually broadcast. However, the envisaged exemptions of the amended law justify the broadcasting of harmful information in cases where such information is needed in public interest, educational or training purposes.

The amended law expands the functions of the Inspector of Journalists’ Ethics who is obligated to prepare and publish:

a) Guidelines on the application of the criteria to classify public information as harmful to minors and on the requirements of the dissemination of such information, e.g., the use of watershed hours or the indication of programmes;

b) Summaries on the activities and judicial practices of various institutions responsible for the implementation of the Law, i.e., the Radio and Television Commission, the Radio and Television Council, the Ethics Commission of Lithuanian Journalists and Publishers, the Children’s Rights Ombudsman Institution and the Ministry of Culture.

In addition, the Inspector shall provide recommendations to producers of public information for the evaluation of the information they intend to broadcast.

The amendments will come into force on 1 March 2010.

Nepilnamečių apsaugos nuo neigiamo viešosios informacijos poveikio įstatymo 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 straipsnių pakeitimo ir papildymo įstatymas LT
  Law on Amendments to the Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information