The Minister of Women, Family and Human Rights, Damares Alves, and the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Anderson Torres, signed today (13) a joint ordinance that creates a working group for the construction of the National Policy for Qualification of Content for Children and Adolescents. One of the goals of the initiative is to review the current ratings policy. The ordinance speaks of “mapping potential abuses suffered by children and adolescents caused by violations of the rights of this public contained in television programs and audiovisual content in general, shown by radio and television stations, content providers online on the internet, entertainment and public shows.”
The announcement was made during a government event in celebration of Children’s Day, to present new actions for this segment. For Damares Alves, the child audience has been exposed to content that she considers harmful and cited audiovisual works on platforms for streaming.
“We are coming here with the initiative to review the ratings in Brazil. All of you certainly received on WhatsApp, these days, the despair of families with that series on Netflix, of violence. Everyone got it. We receive reports like this every day. At 10 am tomorrow, a film of violence and children in the room”, pointed out the minister. She didn’t mention the name of the series she was referring to.
Provided for in the Federal Constitution and regulated in the Child and Adolescent Statute (ECA), the indicative classification determines the classification of audiovisual works and television programs according to the recommended age for that content. It applies to the programming of broadcasting stations, cinemas, video and film platforms, electronic games and various shows. This rating ranges from free content for all ages to those recommended for the 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 age groups.
Until 2016, the rule in force, defined in an ordinance of the Ministry of Justice and the ECA, established a mandatory time link in the display of content classified by television stations. Thus, recommended content in the age groups of 12 years or more could only be broadcast from 8 pm (in the case of the 12 year age group), progressively, reaching the limit of 23 hours (for content classified for 18 years or more ). However, this time binding rule was considered unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (STF), which dropped its validity.
Damares Alves also referred to the exhibition of sessions of the Senate’s Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI) on the pandemic. For her, the moments when there are insults between parliamentarians should not be shown. “In fact, it is there in the newspaper that the minister also wants to make an indicative classification for the CPI. Ô CPI cursing all afternoon. The children in the room and those parliamentarians cursing. I’m not going to censor, but when they’re cursing, they have to get off the air. And the aggressions? One wanting to attack the other in the middle of the afternoon, three-year-olds listening to absurd words.”
The national secretary for the rights of children and adolescents, Maurício Cunha, stated that the joint ordinance between the Ministries of Women, Family and Human Rights and Justice and Public Security should propose regulatory changes within a year. Any legal change, according to him, will be subject to prior public consultation before entering into force.
“It’s a study group, we’re not directing this change to A or B, but as it is today, it can’t stay. We want to strengthen the ratings and improve the regulatory frameworks”, he emphasized. The secretary also criticized news programs on violence that expose children and adolescents. “We have to protect children from undue exposure, including those in conflict with the law.” Currently, the rating rules do not apply to programs considered journalistic.
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