UN committee calls for Spain to ban children from bullfights

The committee highlights the "harmful effects of bullfighting on children"

UN committee calls for Spain to ban children from bullfights

Picture by: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

A UN committee has called on Spain to ban children from both watching and participating in bullfighting, citing the 'harmful effects' of the practice'.

The recommendation comes from a group of independent experts who form the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

In their findings, the committee states: "In order to prevent the harmful effects of bullfighting on children, the Committee recommends that the State party prohibit the participation of children under 18 years of age as bullfighters and as spectators in bullfighting events."

The Spanish government is now set to consider the recommendation.

Bullfighting remains a popular but deeply divisive cultural activity in Spain, with many opponents arguing that it is a violent blood sport.

As well as the animal cruelty concerns, bullfighting can also prove dangerous and even fatal for matadors and spectators.

The Guardian reports there are currently 55 bullfighting schools in Spain, with Spanish authorities saying that children over 14 'could receive some practical lessons' in some of the schools.

The region of Catalonia imposed a ban on bullfighting in 2010, but the ban was overturned by Spain's constitutional court in 2016.

The court ruled: "Respecting and protecting the diversity of Spain’s people, draws precisely from the impossibility to ban, in one part of the Spanish territory, a [...] cultural tradition if it isn’t in its substance illicit nor infringes upon fundamental rights."

A number of other regions have nonetheless considered introducing their own bans.