- Saudi's National Society for Human Rights criminalized exploiting children for fame
- Children under the age of 18 must not appear in videos that promote obscene language
- Exploiting children in any promotional work without meeting the minimum age is illegal
- Parents would be held accountable for such mistreatment of children
The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has criminalized the new trend of exploiting children to obtain fame.
NSHR Chairman Dr. Mufleh Al-Qahtani has told Al-Watan newspaper that it is not socially acceptable for children under the age of 18 appear in video clips that promote obscene language. He said parents would be held accountable for such mistreatment of children as stipulated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Al-Qahtani said goofy videos in which children are shown to the public fall under the purview of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is ratified by the Kingdom and followed up by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development.
The NSHR chief said the regulations criminalize any act of harming children physically or mentally, and punishes the person responsible for it. He pointed out that exploiting children in any promotional work or any other project without meeting the minimum age requirements is considered illegal.
Al-Qahtani said the ministries of Labor, Social Development, Education, and Culture and Information should raise the awareness in society about the dangers of such harmful activities and their repercussions on children.
He explained that the child, or any other party, has the right to complain against a video clip, and if convicted, the perpetrator will face deterrent penalties.
In addition, the guardian of the child will be summoned and made to sign a pledge to protect him or her. In case the offense is repeated, the responsible officials in charge of the case will have the right to take other measures such as transferring the custody of the child to social protection.
"If schools come across such footage, the heads of institution must report the case to the competent authorities," Al-Qahtani said.
Child welfare expert and legal adviser Zaid Al-Shammari said using children to act in ridiculous video clips is tantamount to deliberately inflicting harm to a child, who is ignorant, uneducated and unaware of the consequences. All such acts will be considered as child exploitation, he added.
"The production of any electronic media using underage children is punishable according to the laws of combating information crimes, because these videos are harmful to society. Such videos are made exploiting children's ignorance and innocence," said Fahad Al-Hameed, a legal adviser.
Anyone who knows the identity of a person who had photographed a child in this way and had his or her videos posted on social media should inform the authorities as stated in Article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, said Al-Shammari.
He said Article 5 of the same convention ensured the confidentiality of the identity of the person who reports such crimes and that the branches of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development in the regions and provinces are the first to deal with such cases.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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