Germany the reward foundation

In Germany age verification systems for adults to prove they are aged over eighteen are well established.

Children and adolescents in Germany have a right to special spaces in their lives that are separate from adults. They are protected from negative influences. This allows young people to experience their feelings, inclinations and needs without interference from the adult world. It give them time to form their own identity and to integrate into the existing social structures. Safe spaces in the media are created through the legislation on the protection of minors in the media. In Germany, this is based partly on the Federal Protection of Young Persons Act. The “Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Human Dignity and the Protection of Minors in Broadcasting and in Telemedia” is also relevant.

For television and on-demand services, children are protected by the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. This is a piece of European legislation.

These systems are required to ensure that children do not have access to certain types of content. They are covered by legal regulations in the German Youth Protection Act, the Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors in the Media, and the German Penal Code.

Pornographic content, certain indexed content, and content that is obviously harmful to minors may only be distributed on the Internet if the provider uses closed user groups to ensure that only adults have access to it. So-called age verification systems are the control instrument to ensure closed user groups can only be accessed by adults.

Age verification systems’ regulation

The Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media (KJM) is the supervisory body for the recognition of age verification systems. So far the KJM has approved more than 40 general concepts of Age Verification systems. It has also approved more than 30 age verification modules.

The age verification systems do not apply for children under the age of 18. However, some parental control tools available in the German market do include age verification elements.

The amended Youth Protection Act of May 1st, 2021 requires providers of platforms that can be accessed by children to take precautionary measures for the protection of children. This would mean the platform providers need to know how old their users are. Therefore it is probable that new age verification mechanisms may be developed and put to use in the near future.

A summary of the age verification position in Germany at present is that it is reasonably effective at blocking German children’s access to pornography sites based in Germany.

However, it does little to prevent German children from accessing the international commercial pornography sites. The existing set of laws does not have an effective mechanism to prevent this access.


Germany is a well established nation for pornography research. Here are articles on Child Sexual Offenders and the Dunkelfeld Prevention Project which aims to help men control urges to have sex with children.