Ofcom issues new guidance on protecting Under 18s

Ofcom has issued new guidance on how under 18s should be treated when it comes to broadcast. The guidance follows research and consultation intitiated by the communications regulator earlier in the year looking into the measures taken by broadcasters to protect those under 18 who appear in programmes, especially where these are non-fiction broadcasts such as documentaries or reality tv shows.

The Ofcom Broadcast Code already provides specific protection for under 18s through section 1 of the code. In particular it states that:
1.26 - Due care must be taken over the physical and emotional welfare and the dignity of people under eighteen who take part or are otherwise involved in programmes. This is irrespective of any consent given by the participant or by a parent, guardian or other person over the age of eighteen in loco parentis.

1.27 - People under eighteen must not be caused unnecessary distress or anxiety by their involvement in programmes or by the broadcast of those programmes.

The new guidelines reinforce the regulator's belief that in relation to under 18s, "consideration of their welfare should be at the heart of editorial and production decisions".

The new guidelines aim to assist broadcasters in fully understanding the intent of and complying with the code.

View the guideline summaryHERE
The full guidelines HERE
The research into Children in Programmes HERE

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