UN: no children to bullfights in Colombia

Wednesday, February 11st 2015

Children going to a bullfight @ CAS International Children being brought to a bullfight © CAS International

The Committee on the Rights of the Child of the United Nations has voted against the presence and participation of children to bullfighting and related events in Colombia. Bullfighting is in violation of the Convention of Children 's Rights. This statement is made at a crucial moment: in Colombia violence is an important problem in society. The country is currently in a process towards peace and respect for life. To obtain a better future for the country, these values ​​should be properly promoted to the youth.

Currently, there is a fierce debate going on in Colombia about bullfighting and related events. Recently, the Constitutional Court has decided that bullfighting should return to the Colombian capital of Bogota. In addition, the country was shocked several weeks ago by the images from a Corraleja in which a bull was slain by a crowd with knife stabs and other physical violence. A week later, a wounded horse was slain by a mob. A Corraleja is a bullfight in which not a bullfighter, but the audience participates to the 'fight'. Colombian children of all ages are taken by their relatives to the corralejas but also to bullfights and other events where bulls are abused and/or slain.

Portugal was the first country to be scrutinized by the UN. The Convention on the Rights of the Child brings together the right of all children to a level of life that is suitable for the physical, mental, moral and social development. It calls on the duty of the state to take the necessary measures to protect minors, something which is not realized by bullfighting. Natalia Parra (Director of the Colombian Platform ALTO), argues that not only the bulls and horses are victims of the violence of bullfighting , but the minors as well. She is confident that we will understand in the future that we are all victims of any model of tolerated violence, and especially of violence that draws applause.

The Colombian Senate has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which it is obliged to uphold this through legal mandate. CAS International is very pleased with the decision of the United Nations. Thanks to several studies we know that the violence in bullfights has psychological effects on children, such as trauma and the weakening of moral judgment and empathy. CAS will continue to work towards a global ban on access to bullfights for minors.

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