Survey and analysis of the regulatory activities of the cantons as regards the protection of minors in the media environment
Regulations for specific media coupled with criminal-law bans are designed to prevent misuse of the media, assess the danger posed by media content to children and adolescents, and control access to that content. In order to gain an overview of the action to be taken and the regulation required, the FSIO commissioned political research and consultation specialists Büro Vatter, Politikforschung & -beratung, to carry out a survey and analysis of the regulatory activities of the various cantons (as regards public screenings of films, films on audiovisual media, interactive entertainment software and preventive undercover investigations) as well as of the practice of criminal prosecution (as regards the depiction of violence and pornography pursuant to Section 135 and Section 197 respectively of the Swiss Criminal Code (StGB)).
To this end, a written survey of the responsible cantonal authorities, the police and public prosecutors was carried out in all cantons, and the empirical findings of that survey then discussed in focus groups.
The protection of minors in the media environment currently depends on a voluntary commitment on the part of the relevant industry players, even though, in the film industry, certain efforts to regulate and coordinate are discernible at supra-cantonal level. The large volume of material that is potentially relevant from the standpoint of criminal law as well as the finite resources of the cantonal authorities mean that the scope for protecting minors in the media environment through the enforcement of criminal-law measures is limited. What is more, important legal issues regarding preventive undercover investigations of the Internet remain unresolved.