On Wednesday, February 8, 2017 the European Parliament in Brussels hosted a conference on the Exposure of children to pornography in the EU, organized by MEP Anna Zaborska (EPP, Slovakia) and MEP Luigi Morgano (S&D, Italy), Chair and Co-Chair of the Family Intergroup, respectively.
The meeting took place in the context of the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD, 2010/13/EU)*, in order to adapt it to the new digital environment. The current Directive, through its Art. 27, protects minors from harmful content, forbidding TV broadcasts to include programs which involve pornography or gratuitous violence. However, in May 2016, the European Commission issued a proposal (COM(2016) 287) amending the AVMSD and weakening the protection of children. According to this proposal, televisions could broadcastgratuitous violence and pornography if these are subject to measures such as encryption and parental controls.
The event gathered several experts on the topic at stake, MEPs, Church and NGOs leaders. They emphasized the impact and the negative consequences of pornography on children, families and society and called the EP to reinstate and enlarge the protection of children’s physical, mental and moral development, including on-demand services and video sharing platforms. The Culture and Education Committee (CULT) has the responsibility to prepare the final report, which will be voted in the EP on February 28, 2017.
At the end of the conference, the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE) launched a call to the Members of the European Parliament to improve the EU Legislation on this matter. The call is available online and opened to signature from others NGOs.
*The Audiovisual Media Services Directive 2010/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of March 10, 2010 governs EU-wide coordination of national legislation on all audiovisual media, both traditional TV broadcasts and on-demand services.