Coco Rocha teared up as she announced a new law to protect underage models in New York.

The supermodel was overcome with emotion during a press conference held at designer Nicole Miller's store in SoHo on Tuesday (22.10.13), when she unveiled legislation plans - passed by the State Senate and Assembly - which promise to end childhood exploitation in the fashion industry.

A visibly emotional Coco said: ''For the large army of minor models in New York, we are changing so many lives today. Having once been a child model myself, I know all too well that, until now, underage models have worked with very few legal protections in New York.

''The fashion industry's attempts at self-regulation have not been enough to ensure a safe working environment across the board for its minor models.''

The new state law was championed by The Model Alliance, a non-profit organization advocating for model rights since its launch in February 2012.

According to the MailOnline, Coco, 25, added: ''For a long time, these children have needed and deserved the same basic protections afforded other child performers working in New York, and I could not be happier that this is now the case - thanks in no small part to the passion and diligence of [Executive Director of The Model Alliance] Sara Ziff and the Model Alliance.''

The law now qualifies models up to the age of 18 as employees in the eyes of the law, giving them access to basic protections such as minimum wage, mandatory breaks, compensation for injuries and protection from sexual harassment for the first time.

Girls under the age of 16 must also be accompanied by a chaperone on set to monitor risky shoots, and better access to education will be enforced.

New York State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein, Senate Labor Committee Chairwoman Diane Savino and Assemblyman Steven Otis stood alongside Sara Ziff and Coco at the event.