Norms to protect rights of kids working on OTT platforms

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Norms to protect rights of kids working on OTT platforms

  • THE NATIONAL Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) 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, the draft increases the scope of the guidelines to cover social media and OTT platforms for the first time.
  • The commission has further included stringent penal provisions for violating the guidelines, including imprisonment, and has mandated that child artists need to be registered with District Magistrates.

About the guidelines

  • 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.

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Risk for children

  • The Absence of any monitoring mechanism
  • The children in the industry are at grave risk of exploitation because they lack the legal right to the earnings they generate, or safe working conditions and adequate protections via labour laws, etc.
  • Participating in an adult-oriented industry, children are often exposed to unsuitable, anxiety inducing, and at times, dangerous operational hazards and situations.
  • Apart from the industry-specific risks, the children are also susceptible to a plethora of other crimes against children.

Scope of new guidelines

  • Guidelines will cover TV programmes including but not limited to reality shows, serials, news and informative media, movies, content on OTT platforms, content on social media, performing arts, advertising and any other kind of involvement of children in commercial entertainment activities.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A minor, especially below the age of six years, shall not be exposed to harmful lighting, irritating or contaminated cosmetics.
  • The producer also needs to ensure the child's education under the RTE to ensure no discontinuity from school or lessons as well as adequate and nutritious food, water to the children during the process of production and medical facilities.
  • A child shall only participate in one shift per day, with a break after every three hours.
  • At least 20 percent of the income earned by the child shall be directly deposited in a fixed deposit account in a nationalised bank in the name of the child, which may be credited to the child on attaining majority.

Prelims Takeaway

  • OTT platforms