Section 9: Children and Young People as Contributors


Children and young people are very important to the BBC.  They contribute and interact with us in many different ways - as contributors, actors, presenters, through our interactive and user generated content, via all our services.  We also aim to provide them with challenging, educative, enjoyable and interesting content and to help them make sense of the world in which they live.  Ensuring the content children consume is appropriate is considered throughout the Editorial Guidelines and, specifically, in Section 5: Harm and Offence.  This section is concerned with how we deal with children and young people who contribute to and interact with our content, whether or not it is aimed at children, or usually includes them as contributors.

We must always safeguard the welfare of the children and young people who contribute to our content, wherever in the world we operate.  This includes preserving their right to speak out and to participate, as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The Ofcom Broadcasting Code obliges broadcasters to take "Due care ... over the physical and emotional welfare and the dignity of people under eighteen who take part or are otherwise involved in programmes." (Rule 1.28, Ofcom Broadcasting Code.) This obligation is irrespective of any consent that might have been given by a parent or other adult acting in loco parentis.  The Code also requires that "People under eighteen must not be caused unnecessary distress or anxiety by their involvement in programmes or by the broadcast of those programmes." (Rule 1.29, Ofcom Broadcasting Code.) We are also subject to the law regarding children.

(See Section 18 The Law: 18.9)

For the purposes of the Editorial Guidelines and unless stated otherwise, a child is someone under the age of 15 years.  Young people are those aged 15, 16 and 17. (Note: These definitions reflect the Ofcom Broadcasting Code which clasifies "Children" as "people under the age of fifteen years".)  'Parental consent' is normally required before involving anyone under 16 in our output.  However, age may not be the only consideration.

(See Section 9 Children and Young People as Contributors: 9.4.14 - 9.4.19)