Norms to protect the rights of kids working on OTT platforms

Context:

  • The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has published draft guidelines to regulate child protection within the entertainment industry.
  • While the “Guidelines to Regulate Child Participation in the Entertainment Industry” were issued by the Commission in 2011, today’s draft increases the scope of the guidelines to cover social media and OTT platforms for the first time.

New Guidelines:

  1. Registration: It has mandated that child artists and children being used in entertainment need to be registered with the District Magistrate.
    • Any producer of any audio-visual media production or any commercial event involving the participation of a child will now need to obtain the permission of the District Magistrate where the activity is to be performed.
  2. No exploitation: Parents, who are using children to make money, have to be held accountable.
    • Provisions under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, Child Labour Amendment Act, 2016, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, etc., have been included in the guidelines.
  3. Disclaimer: Producers will also have to run a disclaimer saying measures were taken to ensure there has been no abuse, neglect or exploitation of children during the entire process of the shooting.
  4. Child-specific considerations: The guidelines prohibit children from being cast in roles or situations that are inappropriate; consideration has to be given to the child’s age, maturity, emotional or psychological development and sensitivity.
  5. Presence of guardian: At least one parent or legal guardian or a known person has to be present during a shoot, and for infants, a registered nurse needs to be present along with the parent or legal guardian.
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  1. Police verification: Every person involved in the production who may be in contact with children will have to submit a medical fitness certificate ensuring that they are not carrying an obvious contagious disease and police verification of the staff also needs to be carried out.
  2. Child’s education: The producer also needs to ensure the child’s education under the RTE Act, to ensure no discontinuity from school or lessons as well as adequate and nutritious food, and water to the children during the process of production and medical facilities.
  3. Breaks: A child shall only participate in one shift per day, with a break after every three hours.
  4. Income: At least 20 per cent of the income earned by the child from the production or event shall be directly deposited in a fixed deposit account in a nationalized bank in the name of the child which may be credited to the child on attaining majority.
  5. Family enterprise: Content created by the child or his family/guardian shall be treated as children working in a family enterprise as provided under Section 3(2)(a) of the Child Labour and Adolescent Labour Act, 1986.

Source: The Indian Express

June 25, 2022

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