Ireland’s Minister for Children has ordered a ban on ‘sexy’ clothes for young girls.
Two of the country’s biggest retailers have already agreed to comply with the instructions.
The new guidelines have been revealed by Minister Frances Fitzgerald in an interview with Dublin’s Evening Herald newspaper.
The guidelines mean that crop tops for children as young as five, high heels and t-shirts with suggestive slogans are to be outlawed within weeks according to the paper.
The report states that High Street giants Penneys and Dunnes Stores have already agreed to remove such items from their shelves.
Minister Fitzgerald told the paper that: “The sexualisation of young children is a really serious issue.
“Some items - such as padded bras - are ridiculous. Under 10s are being confronted with this and feel that they should be wearing these very, very sexy clothes because it’s really being pushed by the retailers.
“The retailers are probably going to sell the clothes anyway so I think they can afford to take on board the guidelines and do what they need to do.”
A new code of conduct for retailers, similar to one already in use in the UK, has been developed by the Minister’s department and the National Consumer Agency.
Retailers have agreed on the necessity for stores to only sell clothes that are suitable in terms of shape, size and colour.
“That’s a good step forward,” said Minister Fitzgerald. “While parents know “instinctively” what their child should or should not be wearing, they sometimes feel under pressure because of what other children are wearing.
“Everyone is afraid to say no to their own kid. The childhood space can get very narrow, very short if you over sexualise young children.”