Translation with SYSTRAN Links

The protection of the minors on television

Which are the rules imposed on televisions as regards child protection and of adolescence?

The need for protecting the children and the teenagers from violence, in particular that diffused by television, was the object of specific measures in France as of the Seventies. It is one of the essential missions that the law entrusted to the CSA.
At the time of his installation in 1989, the CSA fixed, in his directive of May 5th, a framework recommending to the chains a detailed attention for the emissions for youth and the emissions diffused at the hours of great listening. The erotic emissions or of incentive to violence could not be diffused between 6:00 and 22:30 any more. 
In 1996, noting that the level of representation of violence in all its forms was particularly high in the fictions and that these images constituted one of the first concerns of the public as regards television, the CSA wanted to reinforce the safety device of childhood. He then proposed with TF1, France 2, France 3, RFO, Canal+ and M6 to set up a system of classification of works, visible with the screen and commun run with the whole of the chains: descriptive youth. 
This device is integrated in conventions of the private channels. The Government thereafter integrated it in the specifications of the missions and of the public channels.
In parallel, the Council asked each chain to set up a committee of watching, person in charge of the classification of the programs.
Noting that the adopted device was not sufficiently explicit, the CSA decided, in June 2002, to make evolve the pictograms to replace them by signals comprising of the indications of age. These new signals are with the antenna since November 2002. With each category of programs schedules of diffusion are affected: thus the programs -10 years cannot be diffused in the programs youth; the programs -12 years cannot be diffused on the chains not cinema before 22:00, but exceptionally can the being after 20:30 provided that it is neither about Tuesday, neither of Friday, neither of Saturday, nor of a school holiday day before, because the children are present later in front of the small screen these evenings. On the chains not cinema, programs -16 cannot be diffused before 22:30 and the programs -18 years are not authorized. 

The Council also took measures to alert the televiewers of the harmful effects of television on the young children.

To the title of the child welfare, the CSA also recommends to the chains to be vigilant when they make take part minors in their emissions. When those live or testify to a difficult personal situation, the chains must protect their identity, in particular, in order to avoid any risk of social stigmatization.


Find a space of dialogue and advices on the site of the CSA devoted to the protection of the young public to television: vis-a-vis the screens, let us be vigilant.

Consult the topic of the site devoted to the youth and the protection of the minors.

Who assigns the pictograms and the warnings of descriptive youth to the diffused programs?

In fact the chains themselves, and not the CSA are responsible for the classification of their programs. They are thus they which choose to signpost such or such program and decide pictogram (- 10 years, -12 years, -16 years or -18 years) and warning (Disadvised with less than 10,12,16 or 18 years) which will be reproduced on the screen during the diffusion of the program and the trailers, in accordance with the device which they were committed respecting. For the films, the chains must indicate the mention of the prohibition to less than 12.16 or 18 years which was decreed, if necessary, by the ministry for the Culture and the Communication at the time of their exit to the cinema (Prohibited in room with less than 12.16 or 18 years).
The CSA controls, after the diffusion, the relevance of the choice of the chains. If it estimates that a program under-was signposted, or, rarer case, on-signposted, it informs of it the chain and asks him consequently to modify indication for the next diffusions of the program. Each year, he makes with the national chains an assessment of their application of the descriptive one.
The principle of regulation of the audio-visual sector retained by France at the time of the vote of the law of the modified September 30th, 1986 affirms that “the audio-visual communication is free” and thus draws aside any concept of programme testing before their diffusion. The censure of the TV programs or radio does not exist in France. On the other hand, televisions and radios must respect the provisions of the French law and the regulation, like those, when it acts private operators, appearing in the conventions signed with the CSA or, when it acts public operators, contained in the specifications of the missions and published by decree. The CSA makes sure that these provisions are respected strictly. It maintains the regular relations with the operators in this objective. If need be, it can use its power of administrative sanction who is exerted after warning (”formal notice“).

Find a space of dialogue and advices on the site of the CSA devoted to the protection of the young public to television: vis-a-vis the screens, let us be vigilant.

Why are there never pictograms in the tv news?

For the televised newspapers, the CSA chose to privilege a mode of communication with the public as regards protection of the minors which is not the device of descriptive youth (pictograms -10,-12, etc) but the oral warning: all the chains have the obligation to prevent the public clearly when not easily bearable images or testimonies relative to dramatic events will be diffused, so that young people can be far away from the screen.
The CSA regularly recalls it to the chains and has even marked settings remains about it on this point.
The CSA did not wish that signals -10,-12 be used or -16 for the televised newspapers because it estimates that they would be ineffective for such short sequences. The pictograms are particularly effective when they can be announced in the press or the trailers: the public can then take account and be organized of it, which would not be the case for sequences of tv news. However, it is certain that the tv news frequently understands difficult and painful subjects for young people and that less than 8 years should not be exposed there.

Find a space of dialogue and advices on the site of the CSA devoted to the protection of the young public to television: vis-a-vis the screens, let us be vigilant. 

Descriptive youth is it applicable to the musical clips?

Taking into account their brevity and absence of trailers preliminary to their diffusion, the Council estimated that the musical clips could be exonerated from the systematic character of the descriptive one. However, for those likely to run up against the sensitivity of young people, the chains must avoid diffusing them before 10 p.m.

The recrudescence of musical clips with sexual connotation led the CSA to engage, in 2010, a reflection with the persons in charge of the musical chains on the diffusion, during the day, of musical clips without descriptive. At the end of this reflection, the CSA recommended to the chains to give priority, during the day, with a version not comprising images likely to run up against the young public, especially when these clips have one long duration. Certain chains affix descriptive “ Disadvised with less than 10 years ” as soon as they consider it necessary.

These initiatives contribute to the respect of the lawful device which forces not to diffuse before 22 hours of the programs likely to run up against the sensitivity of young people.

The CSA intervened several time near the musical chains about musical clips with sexual connotation in order to ensure the application of the recommendation of June 7th, 2005 relative to descriptive youth:

- in March 2010, he asked them to diffuse the clips of TonightI' m loving you of Enrique Iglesias and S&M of Rihanna after 10 p.m.;

- in June 2010, it intervened to ask them to affix descriptive category III (Disadvised with less than 12 years) with the Senile clip of Lady entitled Alejandro ;

- in June 2011, finally, it invited them to diffuse the Sweat clip of Snoop Dog and David Guetta after 10 p.m.

He noticed that, since its interventions, the music channels were more vigilant on the terms of dissemination of the clips in comparison with the protection of the young public.

Which is the organization which takes care of the classification of the films to the cinema?

According to the code of film industry, the Minister for the Culture is charged to deliver a visa of exploitation of cinematographic work, being worth authorization of public representation on all the territory of the French Republic, except for the overseas territories.
The visa for the representation of cinematographic work can be delivered for all public or be together with a prohibition with certain categories of minors on the base of the decree n° 90-74 of February 23rd, 1990, modified on June 28th, 2002, relating to the classification of cinematographic works.
The prohibition of access of a cinematographic work can concern less than 12 years, less than 16 years, and since the decree of July 12th, 2001, less than 18 years. The films can be also classified in the category of films X for their pornographic character or of incentive to violence; they concern then a distribution system specific and an automatic prohibition to less than 18 years. The decree also envisages the possibility of the total ban, measures used for the last time in 1981. 
The visa of exploitation is delivered by the Minister for the Culture only after opinion of the Commission of classification of cinematographic works of the National centre of the cinema and the animated image whose statute, composition and role were fixed by the decree of the modified February 23rd, 1990.
The Commission is made up of twenty-five regular members and fifty temporary members divided into four colleges which represent the ministers in charge for justice, state education, the social affairs and youth and the administrations in charge of the protection of youth. The professionals of the cinema are also represented, the civil society, personalities qualified in the field of child protection and the youth and the representatives of the young ages from 18 to 25 years. Any opinion tending to a decision comprising a restriction on the exploitation of cinematographic work can be given only in plenary assembly, by a secret ballot. The debates of the commission are not public. The Members of the Commission are held with the professional secrecy and can make, in some form that it is, no report of deliberated on the commission.
The opinions relate to all the cinematographic works intended for an exit into the room, including the trailers. Each measurement can be accompanied with a warning intended for the information of the spectator, on the contents of work or of its characteristics. 

The criteria on which the Commission of classification is based grant a place determining to the violence which constitutes a constant concern for the Commission, so much in the various forms in which it appears than in the manner of putting it in scene. Certain elements can determine an opinion of classification, in particular when the scene is impressed of voyeurism or when they are intense and traumatizing repeated scenes.
The tools for classification are however sometimes of a delicate handling and can appear in shift with real maturation children and teenagers whose complex evolution strongly depends on social environment, cultural and geographical in which they evolve. 
It is interesting to note that for the same film, the decisions of classification are extremely varied from a country with another, in particular because of different designs on which the criteria of classification rest. Certain European countries can attach significance to the crudeness of the language employed in the film, with the values morals or social on which are built the scenario and will adopt a suitable classification. 
By way of an example, a film as American Beauty was the object of a prohibition in room with less than 16 years in the Netherlands, with less than 12 years in Germany, with less than 13 years in Quebec, with less than 18 years in Great Britain, with minors the 17 year old not accompanied in the United States, while in France it obtained a visa all public. The film of Stanley Kubrick entitled Eyes Wide Shut was authorized all public in France whereas in the United States, it was interdict with less than 17 years not accompanied, with less than 13 years in Quebec, with less than 18 years in Great Britain and with less than 16 years in the Netherlands and in Germany. More recently, the Gladiator films and It is necessary to save the soldier Ryan were classified in France all public, but accompanied by a warning, whereas in the other European countries, they were the object of a prohibition to less than 16 years, and even to less than 13 years in Quebec. A reflection is today in hand at the European level in order to harmonize the criteria of classification of cinematographic works.
The films are, according to their classification, subjected to restrictions of diffusion on television. For example, the films prohibited with less than 12 years must be matched has minimum from a descriptive -12 when they are diffused on television. They cannot be diffused Wednesday before 20:30 on the chains cinema and 10 p.m. on the chains other than of cinema. Exceptionally, within the limit of four times a year, they can be diffused before 10 p.m., except the mardis, vendredis, samedis, days before of bank holidays and for the periods of school holidays.

It happens that the chains are confronted with a problem of classification when they diffuse old films whose visa was not revised. Certain films have a prohibition indeed with the minors, which imposes on the chains descriptive corresponding, during their diffusion, whereas very often their contents do not justify this restriction today. To cure the problem of surclassification of the old films, the CSA concluded an agreement in February 2002 with the Commission from classification of cinematographic works to proceed to the re-examination of the films whose visa has more than 20 years, within the limit of twenty films a year. The chains address their requests to the CSA which, after having viewed the films, transmits the requests being able to be the object of a new classification.

Consult the topic devoted to the Commission of classification of cinematographic works, on the site of the National centre of cinematography and the animated image.