Instagram, TikTok, YouTube … New protections for child molesters

On Instagram, TikTok or YouTube, minors can be present on photos and videos. A decree dated Thursday, April 28, published the day after in Official newspaperdescribes the rules under a law of 19 October 2020, which aims to regulate the commercial exploitation of the image of children under the age of 16 on online platforms, according to its official title.

The new text falls within the overall framework for the employment of children in certain occupations, such as entertainment, cinema, radio, television, modeling, video game competitions. “comments on the official Public Service website.

Significant income for some families

Between product testing, unpacking toys, or tutorials, photos and videos can be the source of significant income for some families. Parents of influencer children have set up a mechanism for frequent publication of videos, which the mother played by actress Blanche Gardin in the sketch film selfie. This satire on the invasive presence of digital technology in privacy was released in cinemas in early 2020.

[C]Videos are generally the medium of ads, whether they are ad breaks, image inserts superimposed on the image, or product placements. Some videographers also sell derivative products », recalled the reasoning of the bill, which gave rise to the text. Platforms can pay for videos that accumulate a certain number of views.

Income “perceived directly by the owners of the channels and therefore generally the parents”it was still written in the explanatory memorandum.

“As soon as a remuneration, a subordinate place and a work performance are clearly determined, it appears […] that these activities go beyond the strict framework of leisure and can be analyzed as disguised work ”, the document continued. The new rules were to respond to these abuses.

A request for approval

The parent of a child whose picture is online may be their employer. The said law imposes a permit when the employer’s company consists of making audiovisual recordings, the main subject of which is a child under the age of 16, for the purpose of broadcasting for profit on a platform service for sharing videos. A simple administrative statement may be necessary in some cases.

The request for approval must be submitted to the prefect. It is accompanied by the following elements, detailed in the decree:

  • an extract of the birth certificate from the employer or its directors, partners and managers in the case of a company;
  • a certificate of payment of contributions to social security organizations for employers in activity at the time of submission of the application for approval;
  • a certificate by which the employer undertakes to have the child undergo a compulsory medical examination at his own expense;
  • all elements that make it possible to assess the employer’s morale as well as the conditions under which he will carry out his business;
  • a document establishing the child’s marital status;
  • the written permission of his legal representatives, accompanied by a list of jobs previously or currently held by the child;
  • all documents that make it possible to understand the difficulties and morals of the role that the child is invited to play;
  • all details of the child’s employment conditions, of his remuneration and of the measures taken to ensure his schooling.

A mandatory medical examination

The mandatory medical examination must be performed by a pediatrician or by a general practitioner or by an occupational physician from the interprofessional occupational health service specializing in occupational medicine for performing artists and technicians.

According to the same executive order, this study must show whether the child, on the basis of the child’s age and state of health, is able to carry out the activity without compromising its health or development. Exam renewed:

  • every three months for children under 3 years;
  • every six months for those aged 3 to 6;
  • every year for those over 6 years.

A negative statement from the doctor prohibits the employment of the child.

The prefect issues or renews the approval for a period of one year which can be extended, with the consent of a committee, if the guarantees given to the child regarding his physical and mental safety are sufficient.

A justified suspension of the approval is possible. It must be justified by urgency and can only be based on facts that immediately and seriously call into question the child’s health or morals. The suspension period may not exceed one month.

A blockade of income

Children whose image is exploited benefit from an investment of their income, with some exceptions, in the Caisse des dépôts et consignations until they reach majority or their liberation.

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