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Public Defender's Statement on Advertisement - "Sexual Education"

The Public Defender expresses concern about the advertisement titled as "Sexual Education"released in social networks by the Saga shop.

The Public Defender considers that the content of the mentioned video does not match with the level of emotional and cognitive development of the child participating in it as well as of juvenile spectators, and therefore, represents a violent pressure on psychic abilities of juveniles and a blatant violation of the principle of child's best interests guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Law on Advertising provides for protection of juveniles during production, placement and release of advertisements. The same law forbids abuse of juveniles’ credulity and inexperience as well as the use of the kind of text, audio or video material that shows a child in a hazardous area or situation. It is noteworthy that the advertisement depicts the child’s severe emotional condition through his humiliated dignity and honor.

The General Comment N13 of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) concerns protection of a child from all forms of violence, including provision of information through communication technologies, and notes that the child, as the recipient of information, may fall under influence of unwanted, aggressive, violent, misleading or pornographic advertisement. In addition, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child calls on Member States to ensure the protection of minors from information containing stigma and degrading the child's honor and dignity.

The Public Defender condemns involvement of juveniles in advertisements that are harmful to their full-scale development, as well as availability of similar advertising products for them, and calls on all professionals working in this field not to create unfavorable media environment for juveniles.

The Public Defender calls on the relevant authorities to examine the mentioned case and respond to it within the law.

The Public Defender calls on the Saga shop to immediately stop circulation of the advertisement, by taking into consideration the child’s rights and true interests as well as the necessity of protection of juveniles from any kind of violence and harmful influence.

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