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Law on protecting children from negative and harmful information

January 3, 2011

Dmitry Medvedev signed Federal Law On Protection of Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development.

The goals of the Federal Law are indicated in its title.

Given the modern level of development in mass communications and information technologies, parents and teachers are often unable to protect children from information that is negative or may be harmful to them.

Too much brutality and violence in public media may give children a skewed perception of the world and contribute to wrong, sometimes even dangerous attitudes.

The Federal Law is aimed at protecting children from destructive, traumatising information influence, as well as information capable of cultivating vicious propensities in a child.

The law prohibits information that may elicit fear, horror, or panic in children, as well as justification for violence and unlawful conduct. It also prohibits the uncontrolled dissemination of information that could make children want to use drugs or alcohol, or incite them to harm themselves or their health.

The federal law is one of the legislative acts aimed at creating conditions for the full-fledged moral and spiritual development of children. The law will promote the formation of each child as a harmonious and psychologically stable personality, as well as careful and competent education of children based on the ideas of kindness and fairness.

The law does not aim to shield children from the problems and difficulties of modern life, or create the illusion that there is no evil, violence, or death in the world. However, it is imperative for children to acquire this information when they are capable of understanding and accepting it, and this must be done in a delicate, age-appropriate manner, so that this information does not harm their mental health. For example, even small children can be told about violence, but sympathy must be expressed toward the victim and children must be taught that ultimately, good always conquers evil.

In accordance with the Federal Law, experts with the highest level of professional training and knowledge in the field of education, developmental psychology, developmental physiology, and children’s psychiatry will assess whether a given information product is capable of harming the health and development of a child.

Addressing the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on November 30, 2010, the President stated that modern children are highly proficient in navigating the world of communication. The Federal Law is aimed at making this world more friendly and humane toward children.

January 3, 2011