Poland to limit youth access to pornography

Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki stated during a Family Council meeting that the state has to take steps to limit access to pornography for the young in the same way it limits access to alcohol and drugs.

The Prime Minister signalled with a tweet on December 11th that he had seen a report on how to combat the increasing problem of children’s easy access to pornography presented by the NGO “Your Cause Association” and planned to take action on the issue. In the tweet he wrote “family serves as the foundation of Polish society and a number of reports show that the problem of children’s easy access to porn is growing”.

The issue received a lot of attention in the public debate following an interview on the topic conducted by Gazeta.pl with Dr. Andrzej Depko, a sexologist and head of the Polish Association of Medical Sexology. In the interview, Dr. Depko argued that the first generation which has grown up with easy access to pornography thanks to smartphones are now becoming patients of his and his colleagues, sharing harrowing stories of the effect it has had on children.

During the meeting with the Family Council, Prime Minister Morawiecki pointed toward the fact that 60% of boys between the age of 13 and 16 have been exposed to pornography. Morawiecki stated that pornography “is an activity that certainly disrupts emotional function, disrupts the perception of sexuality, leads to very serious emotional deficiencies and to threats in the future, to mental health threats of today's young people, later adults”.

The Prime Minister signalled that the government will intervene to make sure that adult content reaches adults only. He stated, “Just as we protect children and young people from alcohol, as we protect them from drugs, so should we also verify access to content, to pornographic material, with all strictness”. The Family Council consists of 14 members of parliament, family policy experts and representatives of NGOs. The mission of family council is to support, initiate and promote actions that will benefit traditional families. It is also tasked with developing methods to increase the birth rate in the country.

During the meeting with the Family Council, Prime Minister Morawiecki did not specify exactly which measures the government will take to tackle the issue but different age-verification methods currently developed by the governments of Great Britain and Israel are likely to serve as models to follow.