Govt set to back calls for child beauty pageant ban

Senator Jillian Van Turnhout

A leading children's rights activist says Ireland needs to send out a clear message that we don't host child beauty pageants.

There is cross-party support for a total ban on 'Toddlers-and-Tiaras'-type contests and the issue is being debated in the Seanad today.

The Government is set to back the call after the Children's Minister spoke out against a controversial pageant held in Co. Monaghan last year.

Senator Jillian Van Turnhout is urging all politicians to condemn the competitions.

"In France they're bringing through legislation with quite hefty fines - I believe that that's a sledgehammer, given the strength of support we have on this issue," she said.

"But if we need to bring in legislation we will bring in legislation.

"For the moment we've a call to action; we want to send a clear message around the globe - Ireland does not host child beauty pageants."

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