Restricted Access

Tim Covell

Film classification helps countries meet their obligations to protect children under Article 17(e) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Classifying films is an administrative proceeding that affects children, by limiting and setting conditions on what they can view. Therefore, children should have their interests represented or otherwise participate, as required by Article 12. This paper researches the degrees and methods of child participation in film classification systems, primarily by a survey of agencies. Based on data from 22 agencies in 17 countries, 73 per cent have some degree of child participation. This ranges from providing a website for children, to children’s panels reviewing and discussing classification for pre-screened films. Comparison with other international data sets suggests countries with a high degree of child participation in film classification are those which are generally making good progress implementing children’s rights.