PARIS (AP) - France's Senate has voted to ban beauty pageants for children under 16, in an effort to defend children's - especially girls' - rights.
   
Anyone who enters a child into such a contest would face up to two years in prison and 30,000 euros in fines, according to the measure. The legislation must go to the lower house of parliament for further debate and another vote.
   
The Senate approved the measure 197-146 overnight, as part of a law on women's rights.
   
The amendment says it's aimed at protecting children from danger and being prematurely forced into roles of seduction that harm their development.
   
Such beauty pageants, involving girls of all ages heavily made up and dressed up, regularly elicit public debate in France and elsewhere.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)