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Fury over Primark's padded bikinis for children


Primark has been criticised for selling a padded bikini top for children

Primark has been criticised for selling a padded bikini top for children

Primark has been criticised for selling a padded bikini top for children

Retailer Primark has been accused of exploiting children over its decision to sell a padded bikini top for young girls.

Child protection consultant Shy Keenan, of The Phoenix Chief Advocates which helps victims of paedophiles, said: "It never fails to amaze me just how many High Street household names are now prepared to exploit the disgusting 'paedophile pound'."

She added: "You should never sexualise children.

"Kids may be learning how to look sexy in an adult way but no one is teaching them what to do if they receive unwelcome robust adult attention."

Primark, which has 138 UK stores and 38 in Ireland, says on its website: "Every girl wants to look her best and at Primark we make no exception for the younger ladies. All the high fashion trends can be found in our Girlswear section, no matter what age you are."

Ms Keenan said The Phoenix Chief Advocates was urging shoppers to support its stance by refusing to spend their money at Primark.

"We say boycott Primark until they agree to withdraw this line," she said.

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People are also being urged to contact the company directly to ask that Primark seeks "more informed advice" about the children's clothes which it stocks in future.

Primark is the latest chain to face criticism for selling products deemed too adult for young children.

Asda was criticised for selling lace lingerie, including a push-up bra, aimed at young girls and Tesco withdrew a pole-dancing kit which appeared in its toys section.

WHSmith announced last year that it was withdrawing Playboy stationery, including a pencil case, but refused to say if the decision was due to criticism about the brand being sold to schoolchildren.

Parents networking website Mumsnet has launched a Let Girls Be Girls campaign to let retailers know that parents do not want their children offered products which "prematurely sexualise" them.

Brands which have signed up include George at Asda.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown also backed the campaign, saying "all of us as parents can recognise there's something wrong when companies are pushing our kids into acting like little grown-ups when they should be enjoying being children".

During his party's manifesto launch yesterday, Conservative leader David Cameron demanded social responsibility "instead of businesses and media companies encouraging the premature sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood".

The Phoenix Chief Advocates can be contacted through its website, www.tpcauk.com.

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