MEDIA BRIEFINGFilms and Publications Board in process of reviewing Classification Guidelines
PRESS RELEASE BY CAUSE FOR JUSTICE: 29 MARCH 2018
* FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE *
SUBJECT: FILMS AND PUBLICATIONS BOARD IN PROCESS OF REVIEWING CLASSIFICATION GUIDELINES
Cause for Justice (CFJ) has submitted written representations to the Film and Publications Board (FPB) in response to the FPB’s invitation for public comments on the Classification Guidelines (Guidelines). The FPB is in the process of reviewing the current Guidelines. The Discussion Document released by the FPB, notes that more than a third of South Africans do not think that the current Guidelines are aligned with the values of society: there are strong assertions from the South African public that the current age ratings need to be revised. CFJ notes that, according to the Discussion Document, both parents and children think that current age restrictions are too lenient, especially with regard to violent and sexual content.
The purpose of the FPB, and by logical extension the Guidelines, is to provide consumer advice to adults in order to make informed viewing, reading and gaming choices for both themselves and the children in their care, and also to protect children from exposure to disturbing and harmful material (especially of a violent and sexual nature). In order to successfully fulfil this purpose, the Guidelines must align to and reflect societal norms and values and be consistent with scientific research into the effects of certain media content on both adults and children. If not, the Guidelines will be irrational, irrelevant and/or impractical.
CFJ is generally supportive of the current Classification Guidelines as well as the FPB’s recommendation that stricter age restrictions be implemented for content that is of a violent and sexual nature. CFJ encourages the FPB to seriously consider the harmful impact of content of a violent and sexual nature on children and women when reviewing the Classification Guidelines. Scientific research has proven that violent and sexual content is harmful to both children and adults. CFJ further implores the FPB to promote and protect the inviolability of human dignity when considering its policy in relation to content that contains gender-based violence.
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For further queries, contact CFJ at:
Tel: 083 235 1511