Media and entertainment have always been a constant presence in all our lives, marking significant moments right from childhood. However, the entertainment industry is not all it seems. The industry is known for its notoriety, having adverse effects on children in the industry. Children in the industry are at a constant risk of exploitation and face various problems such as substance abuse and threats to mental health. Child labour laws are a set of legislations that have been enacted to protect the children from any kind of exploitation and to ensure that their rights are safeguarded. However, by virtue of the 2016 Amendment to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, children working as artists in the audio visual entertainment industry are exempted from the prohibition. Despite this, certain safeguards are afforded to them and employment of children in the industry is regulated. This is to protect the children from exploitation such that the object of the Act is achieved and the exception is justified.
This article discusses various laws, both national and international, that are in existence to protect and regulate employment of children, specifically in the entertainment industry. It further discusses the concerns in the industry and suggests certain changes and reforms that could be brought about to protect not only the mainstream artists, but also those on social media.
The need to focus on the mental health of child artists is emphasised in the article as well.
In conclusion, this article is an attempt in creating awareness on the plight of child artists in the limelight and also in providing information on the laws that protect them.