Proposed New Legislation Could Finally Give Child Models the Rights They Deserve

Big news from the Model Alliance hit our inbox this morning: They're announcing that the state of New York is making major legal strides towards protecting child models.
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Tyler McCall
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Big news from the Model Alliance hit our inbox this morning: They're announcing that the state of New York is making major legal strides towards protecting child models.
Getty

Getty

Big news from the Model Alliance hit our inbox this morning: They're announcing that the state of New York is making major legal strides towards protecting child models.

According to a special newsletter sent by the Model Alliance, Senator Jeffrey Klein, the Co-Leader of the New York State Senate, and Senator Diane Savino, Chair of the State Labor Committee, have agreed to propose legislation in the state of New York that would extend the protection currently covering child performers to underage models.

One of the Model Alliance's greatest grievances against the industry is the mistreatment of models under 18--founder Sara Ziff has written about it for our website, and they've been a huge champion of the film Girl Model, which exposes the seedy underbelly of model recruiting. Model Trish Goff tells the Model Alliance that when she started modeling at age 15, she was forced to drop out of school because there were no on-set tutors provided for her.

So that the state of New York might soon extend the same protections offered to all other child performers to child models is an enormous coup for the movement. The proposed legislation would provide under-age models with on-set chaperones, tutors, and trust accounts.

In the newsletter, model Rachel Blais, who is featured in Girl Model, had this to say: "It seems basic that child models who do print and runway work should have the same legal protections as any other child performer, and maybe even more."

And while these protections might seem obvious to those working within the industry, it remains to be seen if it will be obvious to those working for the New York State Senate. The proposed legislation is in the very, very early stages; we will definitely be following this story.