Banning the Bullfight
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child have raised concerns about the impact bullfighting could have on children at events as well as pupils in bullfighting schools and has urged Spain to ban children from attending bullfights and enrolling in bullfighting schools. The committee itself observed that “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.”
According to "Frommer's Travel Guide," bullfighting in Spain traces its origins to 711 A.D., with the first official bullfight (corrida de toros) being held in honor of the coronation of King Alfonso VIII. Once part of the Roman Empire, Spain owes its bullfighting tradition in part to gladiator games. Although, bullfighting was done originally on horseback among the upper classes, King Felipe V ended the trend stating that he believed it was in poor taste for nobles to practice such a bloody sport.
Currently, the oldest bullring in Spain is located in the southern town of Ronda, but cities like Madrid, Seville and Pamplona also have a rich bullfighting legacy and some of the largest rings in the world.
The Spanish delegation told the committee it would consider the recommendations. The regional government of Catalonia once banned bullfighting, but the ban was overturned in 2016 by Spain’s constitutional court, stating that the practice was “one more expression of a cultural nature that forms part of the common cultural heritage.”
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