Major stores slap ban on selling 'sexy' clothes to young children
TOP Irish retailers are drawing up new guidelines to prevent the selling of provocative clothing to children. Penneys, Marks and Spencer, and Tesco are among the shops instigating the ban.
Items of clothing likely to be banned under this new voluntary code of conduct include padded bras for pre-teens and sexually suggestive slogans.
Last month, Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald noted there were no guidelines for the retail of children's wear in Ireland.
She wrote to Retail Ireland asking them to follow the example of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), in drawing up their own set of rules.
Last week, Retail Ireland, which represents retailers, informed Ms Fitzgerald that its members had agreed to draw up a voluntary code.
"I see this as a very major step in addressing this problem, and I welcome the co-operation of the retailers," she said.
"I think the fact they took on board my concerns has shown an understanding of the problem, and that they are now willing to deal with it, is very commendable."
The guidelines will address the "style, sizing, labelling and marking of clothes for children 10 years and younger".
Stephen Lynam, from Retail Ireland, said: "We've decided to begin an initiative where the best practice of responsible retailers in the area of children's clothing are drawn up to ensure parents, children, consumers and retailers are all on the same page and the minister's aims of protecting children and protecting childhood are met.
"We also hope there will be an all-Ireland dimension to this, and we're in contact with the Northern Ireland retail consortium about that."
The Irish retailers' code of conduct is expected to be similar to that of the BRC, which was established last June.
In the UK, the move was inspired by the Bailey Report, which was released in 2011 and looked into the commercialisation and sexualisation of children. The report also looked at the availability of sexual content online.
As a result, last October, British Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled a new deal whereby four of the country's biggest internet providers would protect children from sexual content.
Internet subscribers have to "opt in" if they want to view adult content.