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The Association of Photographers' Draft Guidelines for Working with Children

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1 Photographers should try to stop taking pictures of children in underwear, especially for mail order catalogues (a known and easily accessible source of paedophile material). Assistance from large mail order firms and large groups of department stores who produce smaller catalogues and PR pictures needs to be sought.

2 Photographic collections of children held with stock libraries need to be monitored carefully, to be doubly sure who they are selling to and what they will be used for.

3 Manipulation of stills and films, and especially pop videos where children are being used a lot, need to be looked into. (One parent was asked if her son could be filmed dancing and pulling off his shirt - the plan was to then manipulate his sister's head on to his body. The mother refused and it didn't happen.)

4 No child should ever go on any shoot without a chaperone.

5 The chaperone should have the right to be in the same room where the child is working, at all times. If at any time the chaperone feels the child is being misused, over-worked or bullied, s/he should be able to withdraw the child from the session without forfeiting the fee - especially in such cases where the child is asked to do something utterly different from that for which they were hired.

6 A chaperone must never leave a child in a session on her or his own, however boring it may be to sit and wait for the session to finish.

7 If a parent cannot take a child to the shoot, s/he should notify the photographer with the name of the chaperone and make sure the photographer has a phone number to contact the parent/s in an emergency.

8 Children must not be allowed to travel unaccompanied in mini-cabs or taxis. If this is really necessary, a radio-controlled black cab should be used in order to keep the child in contact with an adult known to them.

9 If a child (usually a young teenager) is sent on a shoot without a chaperone, the agency and photographer/client must be notified before the shoot and given the right to cancel if they are not willing to accept responsibility for the child. At all times, the parents' contact number must be supplied in advance in case of emergencies.

10 If the model agency has a call from a photographer/client for one of their children's books, and the photographer or client is new to them, references need to be sought before the book is sent.

11 Children are often worked far too long, or kept hanging about on shoots. Strict guidelines are needed as to how long each age group may work.

12 Parents must be educated, possibly through women's magazines, in what are normal modelling activities and what are not. Too many parents are keen to get their children photographed and consequently can put them in potentially dangerous situations.

Further information about the UK-based Association of Photographers can be found on its website.

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