The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has come out with guidelines to safeguard the interests of children and adolescents participating in the entertainment industry. These guidelines have been made by the Commission in carrying out its functions under Section 13 of the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.
It was considered necessary to frame guidelines for the welfare of children working in the entertainment industry in light of their increasing participation in content creation and to bring social media and OTT platforms within the ambit thereof especially since the last time such guidelines were issued was back in 2011.
Under the guidelines, a child artist has been defined as a “child who performs or practices any work as a hobby or profession directly involving him as an actor, singer, sports person or in such other activity as may be prescribed relating to the entertainment or sports activities”. The key features of the guidelines are as follows: –
- The District Magistrate’s permission has to be obtained by the producer of the audio-visual media production or the commercial event before involving the participation of a child.
- When films and television programmes are screened, the producer should make sure that a disclaimer is presented clearly stating that if any child has been engaged in the shooting, adequate measures were taken to protect the child from abuse, neglect or exploitation during the production or shooting process.
- In case the child is below 6 years of age, at least one parent or legal guardian should be present at all times.
- Children should not be made to work more than five hours and the period of work of adolescents cannot exceed six hours in a day.
- A minimum of 20% of the child or adolescent’s income has to be deposited in a fixed deposit account in a nationalized bank in his/ her name. The same would be credited to the child on attaining the age of majority.
- The producer should make sure that the education of the child or adolescent is not impeded and the same must be kept in mind while scheduling shoots, calling for auditions, etc.
- Pertaining to content uploaded on their platforms, social media intermediaries need to comply with the due diligence provisions under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.