Cabinet ponders stricter rules for influencers who use children for profit


The caretaker cabinet wants to tackle social media influencers who exploit their children to make money and to open a special phone line to report abuse.

The Netherlands has strong rules about children under 13 who participate in ads and tv programmes but these rules are not being followed by so-called ‘family vloggers’ who use family members to promote products.

Children who appear regularly must have a special dispensation from the social affairs inspectorate but this rarely happens in practice, consumer rights programme Kassa found.

Kassa showed the example of 4-year-old Claire Meiland from reality show Chateau Meiland, who is used in Instagram ads but who, according to the rules, can not appear on television more than six times a year.

‘It’s a grey area,’ caretaker junior social affairs minister Dennis Wiersma told the programme.

‘We don’t mind people getting a 10% discount once in a while if their child wears a t-shirt of a certain brand but if a child is called in ten times a day to promote apple sauce it’s a commercial enterprise and child labour. We want that to become even clearer.’

The junior minister said a national phone line would be opened shortly to report potential instances of child labour on social media.

Meanwhile, the social affairs ministry inspectorate is looking into adapting existing rules and will be having talks with parents and child development experts about the issue.

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