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How we work
jugendschutz.net is a major player when it comes to the protection of minors on the internet. The cross-national organization combines research and action taken in terms of violations of youth protection laws with raising awareness among providers, parents and young people and informing them about potential risks. This multidimensional approach allows for a quick response to new phenomena on the internet. The tasks of jugendschutz.net are defined in the Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors on the Internet (JMStV) and the 'Ländervereinbarung', a special agreement among the Länder, all German states.
Research and control of risks
jugendschutz.net checks internet content for violations of youth protection laws. jugendschutz.net also runs a hotline to which internet users can report illegal and harmful content and regularly searches for potential risks on the internet. The focus is on topics and services that are specifically important for children and young people. All research findings result in the assessment of new phenomena and the development of evaluation criteria.
jugendschutz.net continuously keeps a steady eye on content in the areas of political extremism, sexual exploitation of children, self-harm behavior and violence. Other focus points are risky online contacts in communities, messaging services and online games, as well as potential risks when using smartphones and other mobile devices to access the internet.
Additionally, jugendschutz.net studies the effectiveness of technical protection measures like age verification systems and parental control software. Here, jugendschutz.net also evaluates to what extent the systems comply with the latest technical standards and if they are easy for parents to implement.
Latest annual report
Action taken and success achieved
Content providers have to make sure that their content complies with youth protection laws. jugendschutz.net puts them on notice in case of any violations and asks for quick removal. If no accountable persons can be identified, host providers and platform operators can also be reminded of their duties. As soon as they gain notice of illegal content they are accountable and obliged to take action.
This is why jugendschutz.net also contacts host providers and global players like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and asks them to remove illegal content. This is particularly successful if there is a direct contact person and the communication refers to violations of their terms and policies.
In most cases jugendschutz.net achieves quick reaction avoiding complex and time-consuming procedures. jugendschutz.net only has to forward few cases to the Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media (KJM) for further supervisory actions.
Read more Hotline procedures
Cooperation with government, internet service providers and international networks
Effective youth protection depends on joint efforts of government bodies, self-regulatory organizations, international partners and internet service providers. This is why jugendschutz.net is well connected to all key stakeholders in the context of youth protection in Germany and abroad.
Collaborations cover a case-based exchange, information and advice on new youth protection issues and the development of comprehensive solutions. In terms of working with platform operators, the focus is on fundamental improvements of the protection measures in services specifically attractive to young people. In order to respond to international phenomena, jugendschutz.net liaises closely with organizations abroad and is a founding member of the networks INHOPE (Combatting images depicting the sexual exploitation of children and young people) and INACH (Combatting online hate).
Support for young people, parents and teachers
Youth protection today must also include media educational activities. This is why jugendschutz.net develops concepts and practical handouts based on research conducted. Children and young people, teachers as well as parents are the target groups.
The brochures and flyers of jugendschutz.net raise awareness of potential risks caused by endangering content, contacts or cost traps. They also provide practical tips on how children stay safe online. The 'Klick-Tipps', a services offered by jugendschutz.net, recommends good websites for children every week.
Since peers play an important role when it comes to making aware of online risks, jugendschutz.net uses the approach of peer education when targeting young people.
The focus is on developing a critical reflection of their own media use and strengthening their skills.