Young girls robbed of childhood by sexualised clothes, warns Frances Fitzgerald
TOUGH new all-Ireland rules are being drawn up to stop retailers selling inappropriate clothes to young girls.
And Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald has also announced a review of international measures aimed at preventing child beauty pageants.
Speaking in the Seanad, she said that early sexualisation of childhood was a form of theft from which it was vital to protect children.
"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.
A retail industry code introduced in 2012 had helped reduce complaints about inappropriate children's wear.
And IBEC's Retail Ireland division is currently working with the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium on a stronger new code of practice for clothes stores.
She also noted that child beauty pageants were an area where voluntary progress did not happen because of the money involved, but congratulated the Irish Hotels Federation for its opposition to them.
"I want Ireland to be a cold house for beauty pageants," she said.