Tue, Aug 06, 2019 - Page 5 News List

FEATURE : Child modeling booms in China amid controversy

AFP, BEIJING

China’s laws around child labor are complicated and parents of underage models are sometimes paid in secret to sidestep the red tape required to employ them.

Responding to the kicking video, Hangzhou authorities introduced regulations to limit the hours children work and ban children under 10 from being brand spokespeople, but many feel authorities are doing too little to protect children from exploitation.

More than 110 child retailers on e-commerce giant Taobao said they would scale back use of young models, and also demanded more regulations.

Thousands have debated the topic online, calling for rules to be tightened to prevent abuse.

“To me, child models are nothing different from child labor. They have to finish their work no matter how tired they are when other children are playing and their short childhoods are lost making money for their parents,” one microblogger said.

Another said that some parents see their offspring only as a “money-making tool,” adding: “The only way is to strengthen regulation, supervision and protection.”

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