The protection of minors is fundamentally about
- taking measures to prevent risks of harm from arising (structural protection of minors),
- raising awareness about potential risks of harm and providing guidance on how to deal with them (educational protection of minors) and
- regulating measures to deal with risks of harm (legal protection of minors).
Adolescents must also be protected against negative influences encountered while using the media. The legal provisions for the protection of minors in the media provide for such safe spaces in the media. In Germany, this is based on the Protection of Young Persons Act (JuSchG) and the "Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Human Dignity and the Protection of Minors in Broadcasting and Telemedia" (Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors – JMStV).
The JuSchG regulates the protection of minors with respect to media contents on physical media, such as video DVDs or video games. Media that may pose a risk of harm to young persons can be indexed. That means that they will be subject to selling restrictions so that they will only be accessible to adults and not children or adolescents. The Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors (BPjM) is responsible for the indexing procedure.
The JMStV combines private broadcasting (television and radio) and the telemedia (particularly the Internet) under the supervisory umbrella of the KJM. This will prevent the same contents being subject to different rules in different media. Under its remit, the KJM checks whether there are any breaches of the provisions of the JMStV and makes decisions on any measures to be taken against the media provider. However, the KJM does not see itself purely as a supervisory body, but also wishes to encourage socio-political processes.