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UN urges Spain to protect children from bullfighting’s ‘harmful effects’

Committee on the Rights of the Child says under-18s should not attend or participate in bullfighting events

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08 February 2018 06:03 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

After Catalonia banned bullfighting in 2010 (coming into effect in 2012), followed last year by the Balearic Islands, the latest blow for the Spanish tradition came yesterday when the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child called on Spain “to prevent the harmful effects of bullfighting on children.”

The committee that monitors compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child upheld objections to children attending or taking part in bullfighting events that were put forward by the Foundation Franz Weber (FFW), as part of its Childhood Without Violence campaign.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was passed in 1989 by all UN members to protect children’s civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights. The FFW contests that children watching or participating in bullfighting events exposes them to extreme violence, which is banned by the treaty.

Last Barcelona bullfight

In 2010, Catalonia became the second Spanish region after the Canary Islands to ban the practice on the grounds that it was incompatible with Catalan tradition. The last bullfight took place at the Monumental Ring in Barcelona in 2011, and the ban took effect a year later. The rule change was contested by the Spanish government and overturned by Spain’s Constitutional Court in 2016.

Yet last year, the Balearic Islands followed Catalonia’s example, and while not banning the tradition outright, it made the killing or injuring of bulls during bullfighting events illegal and forbade under-18s from attending. The Spanish government went on to announce its intention to contest the law.

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  • Bullfighter Serafín Martín and a bull in the ring in the last bullfight in the Monumental ring of Barcelona on September 26 2011 (by Gustau Nacarino / Reuters)

  • Bullfighter Serafín Martín and a bull in the ring in the last bullfight in the Monumental ring of Barcelona on September 26 2011 (by Gustau Nacarino / Reuters)