Supermodel Coco Rocha announced at a press conference that Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York signed a new law Monday night protecting the rights of child models. Rocha, in association with the Model Alliance, was an advocate for the bill.
At a press conference this morning held at Nicole Miller’s SoHo store, former child model Rocha, 25, said, ‘for the large army of minor models in New York, we are changing so many lives today.’
Rocha, who was a guest judge on America’s Next Top Model in October of 2011, has worked with Sara Ziff of the Model Alliance since early 2012 to pass the law affording minor models in New York a number of protections previously ignored, such as the requirement of a chaperone for models less than 16 years of age, educational provisions on set, and other health and safety regulations, with steep fines imposed at an increasing rate based on number of violations.
Child models are currently offered many of these rights here in Los Angeles, where the State of California Division of Labor requires that minors and entertainment industry employers obtain permits and adhere to many state-mandated regulations. Models 18 and under are encompassed in the law, defining ‘modeling’ as a specific term in the description of ‘entertainment’ employment in the California Child Labor Law Booklet.
Child modeling has been on the rise worldwide since 2009, and websites promoting child models have seen a tremendous increase in growth since the economic downturn. One website, TheCuteKid.com, has close to half a million likes on its Facebook page.
Parents of children interested in modeling or any aspect of the entertainment industry are encouraged to follow basic safety guidelines for models in addition to those set forth for children, and to use common sense when publicizing photos of children on the Internet.