Shops sign up to outlaw sexually-suggestive clothes sales for children
TEN high street stores have enforced a strict code to outlaw provocative and sexually-suggestive clothes being sold for children.
The shops have followed the ban by UK retailers last year to promote practical, age-appropriate garments for youngsters.
Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald said parents need to be empowered to prevent the sexualisation of children.
"Irish childhood has changed and continues to change. We all have a responsibility to make sure that those changes are positive for our children," she said.
"Some things are not the same for adults and children. Never have been, never will be.
"This includes clothes with suggestive slogans, overtly sexual cuts and styles and unreal or unbalanced portrayals of an 'ideal' body image. The new guidelines recognise these differences."
Retail Ireland, the organisation which represents the 10 stores, said the aim was for designers and fashion buyers to feel the impact of the guidelines, not consumers.
Director Stephen Lynam said: "All responsible retailers recognise their responsibility to provide age-appropriate clothing designs and market these to parents in ways that protect childhood and safeguard the interest of children.
"These new guidelines provide extra reassurance for parents that retailers are just as concerned as they are about what their children wear."
The 10 Retail Ireland members invited to sign up to the voluntary code are Arnotts, Brown Thomas, Clerys, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer, Next, Penneys, Tesco and TK Maxx.
Ms Fitzgerald called on all other retailers selling children's clothes to sign up to the guidelines.