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Old 31st May 2010, 12:44   #1
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Default How is child labour defined?

Last week I was randomly changing channels & was struck up on a specific channel that was telecasting a show where kids were dancing & singing exhibiting their talents. I let my thoughts run free & I'm penning down them in sequence.

I was wondering if those children would ever get paid up for such appearances on TV. But for sure if a child acts in a movie, yes he/she would definitely get paid up hefty.

But how much is this different from a child working in a hotel? Yes quite a different in the working atmosphere and the money. Oh!!! yes, the working environment & money does matter.

But then, how about the same kid employed at a McD/Subway/KFC/Pizza hut in India? The working atmosphere is definitely better isn't it? On the financial front, does it mean that if some outlet pays the kid hefty, it can employ to do any work? Ah!!! No way.

I think there's a discrimination of children working in cine industry for fame versus children working at hotels for their needs. Which is more important? The fame of acting in movie or the needs to support a family? Ofcourse the needs.

Then why does the Govt prohibit kids working at such outlets (by now the issue in my mind has gone beyond India)? May be working in cine industry is considered as exhibiting the talent, but working at outlets are considered working hard for money? Exhibiting talents huh? But why not a kid work in a car workshop, learn the mechanics & exhibit the talent. Who knows in future he/she could start an own car manufacturing company.

Or may be the kids are forced to work at outlets while kids are not forced to work in cinemas? Well, the parents could certainly stay away from the cine field even if there're offers? Its the money that lurkes them isn't it? What if the child decides to support the family & volunteers to work at car workshop or a subway outlet? Isn't there an art to show & is this the reason why the Govt adopts child labour policy? I'm confused.

Last edited by aargee : 31st May 2010 at 12:47.
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Old 31st May 2010, 13:28   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
But then, how about the same kid employed at a McD/Subway/KFC/Pizza hut in India? The working atmosphere is definitely better isn't it? On the financial front, does it mean that if some outlet pays the kid hefty, it can employ to do any work? Ah!!! No way.
Yet to see an instance like mentioned by you. I personally haven't seen any of these outlets employ underage kids for their chores. I could be wrong though, any proof at all ?
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Old 31st May 2010, 13:39   #3
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When acting or dancing etc., there are a set of guidelines which are laid down by the I&B. If a channel violates those, then it can theoretically be prosecuted for the same.
I am not a lawyer, so do not know what is allowed, and what isn't allowed.
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Old 31st May 2010, 13:42   #4
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Yet to see an instance like mentioned by you. I personally haven't seen any of these outlets employ underage kids for their chores. I could be wrong though, any proof at all ?
Oh!!! No no RJ; what I meant here was my line of thoughts. I meant to say that, if the working environment is what mattered, then the places like McD/KFC would provide a safer working environment.

Definitely agree with you, none of these outlets employs kids as of now.
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Old 31st May 2010, 13:45   #5
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Is it that the children working with parents /family, on the street - whether selling something or just doing the usual tricks : cannot be considered as 'Employed'. It can be argued as just helping out the family, and hence out of the purview of child labor laws.

IIRC, for acting in films, there are rules about what time they can be made to work at, and for how long each day. Movies & ad's are one place where children cannot be kept out of. A situation that needs a child to be there will need one. There's no subsitute.

For actual employment, 14 is the minimum age before which employment is illegeal.
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Old 31st May 2010, 13:50   #6
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i have noticed in many shows and movies etc, children <18 are paid for their work .
But money is credited or rather becomes valid >18.
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Old 31st May 2010, 14:28   #7
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If you pay a wage (money) to a person, you have employed the person. Same for children.

And thats the loophole i guess.
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Old 31st May 2010, 14:43   #8
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Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
If you pay a wage (money) to a person, you have employed the person. Same for children.

And thats the loophole i guess.
You spoke my mind.

@TSK - If you look at the end result, its like this...
Hotel - Kid works = earn money
Cine - Kid acts = earn money

The end results are the same no matter what guidelines are adhered or not adhered.

@Condor - Helping the family? Well, let me put this way. Lets say I run a hotel & my 5 yr old son helps me serve the customers. I save money by not hiring a person at the same time I don't pay the kid because he's my son. How would you perceive this? Helping the family or a labour who's not paid? If the labour is not paid then, I haven't employed (the kid) Aaargh!! I'm getting paranoid thinking this.

@Vinaydad - Sorry to differ here. Let me quote 2 classic examples
1. Movie Anjali released 1991 - It was a big talk as how Maniratnam made Shamlie to act in the movie & was even recorded as youngest child in India to get paid up for acting
2. Avvai Shanmugi - Was a big talk as Annie was not being paid up as per agreement
One more line of thought - A child acts in a movie in 2005 at the age of 5 & what's the sum to be paid at the age of 18 which is 13 years from now? Is it today's value or the value of money after 13 years? I'm sure everyone will accept the 1 Rupee today than 2 Rupees tomorrow.

Like all of you, I'm so confused on this. I'm sure there's some kind of trick or something to be blamed on the Govt (not only India) as whole.

Last edited by aargee : 31st May 2010 at 14:46.
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Old 31st May 2010, 15:04   #9
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Children act in movies and TV all over the world, including first world countries that have strict child-labour laws. I am sure law allows it, not need for loopholes.
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Old 31st May 2010, 15:24   #10
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I think there is a qualitative difference between acting in ad clips, movies and performing in music /dance shows (such as Airtel super singer junior) and working in a restaurant or mechanic shop.

a) The child's education is not discontinued; rather the parents and even the school consider this to be extra curricular activity.

b) Since it takes place only during certain days/part of a day, the child's studies are not interrupted - at least not seriously.

c) These are "artistic" professions and participation is even encouraged.

d) The child's growth and mental development are not affected.

In short, child labour means the child is made to work for a living by foregoing studies, in a way that affects his/her physical and mental development. By this definition, a child working full time in an eatery run by the dad is also child labour.
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Old 31st May 2010, 15:26   #11
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The difference is that children acting in movies are not working full time in a job. They also go to school, etc. The acting is more like a co-cultural activity, providing additional learning to the child.

Whereas children working as child labour in hotels, factories, etc are working full time on the job with no school at all.

Edit: Gansan made the same point that I did at the same time, and he articulated it better.

Last edited by johnjacob : 31st May 2010 at 15:43.
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Old 31st May 2010, 17:45   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Children act in movies and TV all over the world, including first world countries that have strict child-labour laws. I am sure law allows it, not need for loopholes.
Right, but, the point on child earning money is the same, but the sources are different isn't it?

@Gansan Sir, this is getting interesting as you're giving a different dimension to look into this.
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I think there is a qualitative difference between acting in ad clips, movies and performing in music /dance shows (such as Airtel super singer junior) and working in a restaurant or mechanic shop.
Let me put it this way; the kid participates in a movie or ads purely based out of interest. Now, what if a kid likes to work in the garage during the weekend for some extra cash for a project that he's working on? It doesn't affects his studies right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
a) The child's education is not discontinued; rather the parents and even the school consider this to be extra curricular activity.
Well, there're 2 points that I like to mention...
1. There're numerous examples we can see from our own cine industry where the child started acting in movies & completely forgot about the studies
2. Extra curricular - well, if I understood it right, the real meaning is doing something additional apart from the regular activities. In that aspect, learning a dance, marital arts, painting, horse riding, karting, swimming are considered extra cirricular right? Where in one pays to learn. I'm definitely not talking about this; I'm talking about earning money during childhood such as acting, working in outlets etc. Correct me if I'm wrong in my understanding.

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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
b) Since it takes place only during certain days/part of a day, the child's studies are not interrupted - at least not seriously.
The kids can be allowed to work in the weekends provided they can manage their time with work & studies & the store owner trusts them. This again is part time. Also, I'm sure, the cine industry will not keep waiting for weekends & kids; I'm very very sure that kids acting in movies are foregoing their studies at somepoint or other. IIRC, there was one child artist (look at the fancy word child labour, err...artist) master Mahendran, who missed out an entire year because of his low attendance. This is just one example I'm able to think now.

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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
c) These are "artistic" professions and participation is even encouraged.
Well, you've a point here on artistic Profession, which means work, which means earning, which means labour . This is exactly my question too; why discriminate between the work? Any work is a work where someone delivers the service & is compensated through money.

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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
d) The child's growth and mental development are not affected.
Can't say much here as I personally do not know how much children are affected by acting in ads/movies/garage/restaurants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
In short, child labour means the child is made to work for a living by foregoing studies, in a way that affects his/her physical and mental development.
Ok, let me put it this way; I employ part time a 10 years old kid from a dead poor family at Arun icecreams to work between 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM to serve icecreams & to support his poverty/studies during the day; I'm sure you're going to call up the labour ministry, aren't you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
By this definition, a child working full time in an eatery run by the dad is also child labour.
Exactly my point; but what about part time? Can it be exempted? I don't think so it could; because, if I employ someone, I've to pay, when I pay he/she becomes my labour.

PS - Pls don't take that I'm arguing here, I'm just trying to play a devil's advocate to solve my long confusion (its been several years since I've been thinking about this). I'm desperately looking for an answer.
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Old 31st May 2010, 17:48   #13
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I guess you cannot have 14+ play the role of a 5 role.

Which makes the requirement for kids in movies kinda irreplaceable.
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Old 31st May 2010, 17:57   #14
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@BBlost - Sir my whole point is not about kids acting in movies. Let me give you another incident...

This happened about couple years back. A small boy along with his younger brother showed up at our gate & asked for some work & I said, there's no work. Now he doesn't go & says instead he would like to clean up the garden for some money. So I assumed he's a beggar & asked him to get lost. Now he says, he isn't a beggar & he wants money to raise his brother, books & support his family. Sorry that I cannot write anything more about the conversation, as I'm already in tears!!!

I'm talking with respect to such genuine people who needs to make their living. Finally, when he left, he cursed the Govt for imposing such a rule (IIRC, it became stringent around 2-3 years ago) due to which he was fired from the hotel he used to make his living & support his family.
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Old 31st May 2010, 21:07   #15
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No buddy. I should have been clear in my post. Sorry about that.

What I meant is, you can find anyone else to do the gardening/ server/ waiter/ cleaner/ mechanic helper and so on.

But you cannot find a substitute for a child actor.
Hence movie/ drama's maybe exempted.

About your post above.
I take that as the greatest failure of the worlds largest democracy.
Shame on all of us.
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