Research Project

Child Influencer Project - Ireland and the UK

Principal Investigator
Dr Francis Rees
children sat on a park bench
This project considers the impact of digital child labour on child performers (under 13) on social media platforms such as TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. Contemporary legislation such as the Online Safety Act 2023 has considered the impact of social media on children’s well-being, increasing protections for children online, but these provisions do not fully consider the impact of a digital workload on child influencers’ economic, social, psychological, and physical well-being. 

About the research

The Child Influencer Project seeks so consider the place for regulation in this area, exploring the jurisdictions where ‘child influencer’ legislation has been implemented. It will also promote parental awareness and education, highlighting their enhanced safeguarding responsibilities and risk management considerations.

Risk Assessment Framework

In viewing these social media platforms as potential ‘workspaces’ for children, the project considers the role of risk assessment for these harms, in order to raise awareness and encourage best practices for parents operating in this new workspace.

This risk assessment is broken down into 6 categories:

  • Financial
  • Education
  • Health & Safety
  • Health & Safety
  • Family
  • Self-Development
  • Dignity

These categories contain list of potential harms, numbering 32 potential identified harms of child influencer labour.

We are working with influencers, agencies, charities, brands, and platforms, in Ireland and the UK, to explore these harms and to develop ‘best practice’ guidelines for work in this area. To date, parents have been left to navigate these responsibilities alone, so my aim is involve these parents in the risk assessment dialogue, in order to develop a ‘best practice’ approach and minimise the prospective harms to child influencers.


This project is funded by the International Impact Fund and Enterprise Project Fund.

Irish Child Influencer Survey

The Irish launch of the project is on the 15 February 2024.

The launch event will introduce our Irish Child Influencer Survey

UK Child Influencer Survey

The UK launch of the project is on the 6 March 2024.

 The launch event will introduce our UK Child Influencer Survey

Children sat on a park bench
Join us for our launch event

Please join us for the launch of the UK Child Influencer Project, where we discuss a risk assessment approach to child influencer labour, involving parents, brands, and platforms.

Register your attendance
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Get in touch
Dr Francis Rees Principal Investigator
Essex Law School