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Wednesday 27 August 2014

Fitzgerald orders a review into treatment of beauty pageants

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

Published 05/03/2014 | 19:09

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Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald

CHILDREN'S Minister Frances Fitzgerald has ordered a review into how other countries treat controversial beauty pageants.

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The Fine Gael minister last night said money would be put aside for the project, which is being commissioned on the back of strong criticism of pageants in Ireland.

While Ms Fitzgerald said she does not believe legislation is required to ban such events, she told the Seanad that she wants Ireland to be a "cold house for pageants".

“Catapulting little girls and boys into a sexuality for which they are neither physically nor cognitively ready is a form of theft. It is the theft of childhood," she said.

Ms Fitzgerald was speaking during a debate on a private members motion proposed by Independent senator Jillian van Turnhout.

She said she has had major concern in the past about retailers selling sexually provocative clothing for chldren, adding that some of the largest retailers have now signed up to a code of conduct which ban suuch products.

Dunnes Stores last year become the latest retailer to agree to the guidelines -- which ban the sale of sexually suggestive clothing, slogans and imagery.

The list of signatories includes Arnotts, Brown Thomas, Clerys, Debenhams and House of Fraser.

Marks & Spencer, Next, Penneys, Tesco and TK Maxx have also signed up to the guidelines.

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