Minister Fitzgerald launches Ireland’s first Childrenswear Guidelines
Guidelines prepared by Retail Ireland following invitation from Minister
Minister & Retail Ireland act on increasing concerns over sexualisation of childrenswear
28th June 2012
Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs launching Ireland's first Childrenswear Guidelines with Stephen Lynam, Chairman of Retail Ireland
Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has today (Thursday 28th June) launched the new Retail Ireland Childrenswear Guidelines. The launch took place at an event in Dundrum Town Centre.
Earlier this year Minister Fitzgerald issued an invitation to Irish fashion retailers to prepare guidelines to address increasing concerns over the sexualisation of childhood and issues such as body-image. The invitation was taken up by Retail Ireland and its member stores.
Addressing the launch Minister Fitzgerald stated: “Irish childhood has changed and continues to change. We all have a responsibility to make sure that those changes are positive for our children
“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.
The Minister commended Retail Ireland for accepting her invitation to prepare Irish guidelines: “I want to welcome the very determined interest and initiative shown by Retail Ireland and its members in wanting to bring in this code; to act on their responsibilities to their customers and to formalise the best practice already being followed in Ireland.
Commenting on the guidelines the Minister stated: “It is important to note that these guidelines are not just about restricting what retailers can sell, but instead provide a more constructive guidance on best practice on a range of issues such as styling, slogans, age-appropriateness, size, labelling and marketing.
“I believe this code will play an important and constructive role in informing future decision-making by retailers, for example on the appropriateness of new and emerging fashion trends for children while further providing a framework within which retailers can responsibly consider and respond to growing concerns over body-image among children.”
The Minister particularly welcomed Retail Ireland’s plan to put in place a mechanism to facilitate the reporting of concerns by parents and others, through a central email address: firstname.lastname@example.org; and the plans to provide an annual report on progress to the Minister’s office.
In publishing these guidelines the Minister referred to her objective of standing -up for parents: “Last year, in the UK, the Bailey Review of the Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood identified the need to empower parents. I agree fully. In fact I have been overwhelmed by the warm and positive reaction I have received, in particular from parents, since I first expressed my views as Minister on the need for action in this area.”
The Minister concluded by adding that the preparation of these guidelines is a perfect example of how working together we, as a state and society, can help to foster a culture where childhood is preserved and children are protected.
The Minister called on all Irish childrenswear retailers, not just those in Retail Ireland membership, to sign-up to the guidelines.
- Read the Retail Ireland Childrenswear Guidelines
- Minister Fitzgerald speaking on the Six One News about the launch of the Retail Ireland Childrenswear Guidelines
- Minister Fitzgerald speaking on Xposé about the launch of the Retail Ireland Childrenswear Guidelines
- Minister Fitzgerald speaking on Q102 (Scott Williams Show) about the launch of the Retail Ireland Childrenswear Guidelines
- Minister Fitzgerald speaking on Sunshine Radio with Lynsey Dolan about the launch of the Retail Ireland Childrenswear Guidelines
- Minister Fitzgerald speaking on TV3's IrelandAM about the launch of the Retail Ireland Childrenswear Guidelines (29th June 2012)