Child Artists

Mains Marks Booster     3rd August 2023        
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Ethical Concerns

                Way Forward


  • Lack of one’s choice in kinds of situation which children faces. 
  • Conflict with education and cognitive development. 
  • Can be detrimental to physical and psychological health due to different kinds of exposure. 
  • Erosion of privacy due to public visibility
  • Regular sessions of children with social workers and counsellors to understand their choice/ problems. 
  • Compulsory attendance criteria in schools with minimum exceptions. 
  • Children to be educated about their bodily autonomy, rights and should have access to help in case of exploitation.
  •  Role being played by child should not be detrimental to the child’s health.

Parents/ Guardians

  • Attraction of fame and fortune creates enormous pressures on children and their parents. 
  • Parents face difficulties in reinforcing a child’s sense of self and coming to terms with reality of the profession in which appearance matters the most.
  • Sensitization of parents and children on the difficulties and realities of industry. 
  • Parents should also be given full information about all aspects of child’s employment for an informed consent.

Production Houses

  • Showcases child actors as models for ideal lifestyle or stardom, which many would want to emulate. 
  • Extension of work shifts to more than statutory limits.
  • Low wages to child actors. 
  • Various unscrupulous agents cash in on hopes of parents and children
  • Enforcement of statutory working hours. Heavy fines and penalties on illegitimate agenting practices and frauds.
  • A model contract laying out some basic responsibilities of production houses and enforcing basic child rights.


  • Representation of false ideals and maturity that children find difficult to emulate and come under extreme stress. 
  • Negative impact from inappropriate display of a child’s character. 
  • Much is left to the viewers’ discretion to make sense of some visuals, which sometimes influences viewers, especially children to their detriment
  • The film rating system needs to incorporate different kinds of portrayals and accordingly certify the films for appropriate audiences.
  • Inappropriate display of a child’s character should not be a part of any production. 
  • Statutory warnings on such situations which might influence viewers in a negative manner.


  • Lobbying by industry groups to relax regulations. 
  • Difficulties in striking a balance between child’s rights, education, parental aspirations, industry’s demands, viewers’ discretion etc.
  • Government organizations such as National Human Rights Commission should can be involved at policy level.
  • Regulations and laws should factor in the best interests of the child involved, in terms of his/her education, cognitive development and values incorporation

Key provisions of the Guidelines

  • Scope: Cover television programmes including reality shows, TV serials, news and informative media, movies, OTT platforms, content on social media platforms, performing arts, advertising and any other commercial entertainment activity. 
  • Registration of Child Artist with District Magistrate (DM): Children could be involved in any audio-visual production only after obtaining the permission from the DM. 
  • Producer should also furnish the consent of parents or guardians, and name of the individual responsible for safety and security of the child to the DM. 
  • Inspection of workplace: DMs have been empowered to instruct the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) to inspect the workplace and accordingly issue a permit to the producer.
  • Content Restrictions: No child/adolescent should be cast or made to participate in a role or situation or content. 
  • Involving the indecent or obscene representation of a child or nudity or sexual act. o Which is not advisable/ not certified to be viewed by them. 
  • Presence of one Parent/Guardian: If child is below the age of 6 years, at least one parent or guardian must be present. 
  • Working hours: No child shall be allowed to work for more than 5 hours in a day. 
  • Wages: At least 20% of the income earned by the child/adolescent from the production to be directly deposited in a fixed deposit account. 
  • Education: The work of child should not affect his/her school education and minimum number of working days and instructional hours in an academic year should be maintained.
  • Children in news and media: Media and production houses shall ensure that child victims of sexual offences, trafficking, drug/substance abuse, organized crimes, and children used in armed conflicts, children in conflict with law and child witnesses etc. are automatically guaranteed anonymity for life.

Conclusion: Ensuring ethical conduct in the employment of children in the entertainment industry is of paramount importance. Industry stakeholders, parents, child rights organizations, and government should collaborate to develop and adhere to a comprehensive code of ethics for the employment of children.