Panel directive on children taking part in programmes

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has directed that all audio-visual programmes, shows, and presentations in which children take part should be held in compliance with child labour laws.

The commission directed that all programmes in which children participate should conform to the conditions laid down in The Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, and the The Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Rules’s Clause 2C.

A division bench of commission members Fr. Philip Parakkat and K. Nazeer was on Wednesday disposing of a complaint related to a popular television show in which children play a prominent role.

The commission said that its direction was applicable to all similar audio-visual programmes, shows, and cultural presentations in which children take part.

As per child labour laws, prior permission of the District Magistrate should be sought for all such programmes. The application along with the number of children taking part in a programme and parents’ consent should be submitted to the District Magistrate. Children who are acting should not be made to work more than five hours a day or more than three hours at a stretch. Adequate precautions should be taken for children’s safety and care. They should be given nutritious food and facilities arranged for their physical and mental recreation. They should be provided clean and hygienic accommodation. Their education should also be ensured as also adherence to child rights laws.

At least 20% of the money earned by children should be deposited in a nationalised bank. The anonymous complaint alleged that a child in the aforementioned TV show was being used for making money without her permission. The child, the complaint said, was spending time on location for recordings that went on for hours. The commission also said that the managing director of the channel on which the programme is telecast argued that the child was not a child artiste, and there was no contract between his channel and the child or the parents.

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