The lower house of the Polish parliament has approved a bill that prescribes prison time for using phrases such as "Polish death camps" to refer to the killing sites Nazi Germany operated in occupied Poland during World War II.

The bill passed Friday is a response to years of foreign media using "Polish death camps" to describe Auschwitz and other Nazi-run camps.

Many Poles fear such language makes some people, especially younger generations, incorrectly conclude that Poles had a role in running the camps.

The legislation calls for prison sentences of up to three years. It still needs approval from Poland's Senate and president.

Critics say enforcing such a law would be impossible outside Poland and within the country would have chilling effect on debating history and harm freedom of expression.